Tigers do it Again; Rally From Two Strokes Down to Win Missouri Bluffs Challenge
Oct. 12, 2004
St. Charles, Mo. - For the third time in as many tournaments this year, the Memphis men's golf team rallied from a deficit entering the final round to win the tournament. The Tigers shot a final round 11-under par 273 to easily overcome a two-stroke deficit entering the final round and win the Missouri Bluffs Challenge with a final score of 10-under par 842 (283-286-273) at the par 71 Missouri Bluffs Golf Club. The third straight win is the longest streak of first place finishes in program history, surpassing the previous high of two set both this year and in 1990.
The top four Memphis finishers all finished in the top 10 with three finishing with scores below par. Two shot rounds of below 70 in the final round and the Tigers had four rounds below 70 in the tournament. The highest score counted toward the team score in the tournament for the Tigers was a 74.
Also for the third straight tournament, a Memphis player won individual medalist honors. Andy Shiels became the third different Memphis player to take individual medalist honors and the second freshman, joining senior Allan Thomas and freshman Keven Fortin-Simard, who were individual medalists at the Tigers' two previous tournament. Shiels shot a blistering final round of 6-under 65 to finish the tournament with an 8-under par 205 (68-72-65). By virtue of having shot the lower final round score, he was then awarded the individual medal in a scorecard playoff over Matt Thomas of Miami (Ohio).
The 273 for the final round was nine shots better than the next best round, a 2-under 282 by Lamar, which finished in fourth place. Second round leader Miami shot an even-par 284 to finish the tournament at 1-under 851, the only other school to finish the tournament under par. Host Missouri, who was tied for the lead with Miami after the second round, shot a 288 and finished 3-over and in third place.
Thomas shot a final round 1-under 70 to finish the tournament in fifth place alone at 2-under 211 (69-72-70). Finishing just one stroke behind him in a tie for sixth place was Fortin-Simard, who shot a career low 4-under 67 in the final round to finish with 1-under 212 (74-71-67). He also co-led the field with 14 birdies in the tournament. Justin Miers rounded out the Memphis scorers with a 10th place finish at 1-over 214 (72-71-71). Clayton Ellis was the other Tiger golfer in the event and he finished with a 16-over 229 (77-73-79). Shiels and Thomas each had 12 birdies apiece in the two-day event.
"We played extremely well today. They guys had a lot of energy and it was fun to watch," said Memphis coach Grant Robbins. "The rain made the course play longer and the greens softer so the players were able to go right at them."
Memphis will look to make it a clean sweep of its fall tournaments when it competes for the final time in the fall season October 29-31 at the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C.