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Jaguars keep eyes on the prize at Jim West golf tourney

By jhornberg
April 1, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated March 31, 2012 at 11:01 p.m.


JIM WEST INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Mitchell McLeroy (SFA) -5 67

Stetson McMillan

(SFA) -3 69

Jonathan Allen (UHV) -2 70

Andy Ariens

(Houston Baptist) -2 70

Jarred Bossio

(Idaho) -2 70

Kristjan Einarsson (Nicholls State) -2 70

Brian Williamson watched intently as an opposing golfer drop a chip about 10 feet from the cup.

He looked back at the gallery, and spoke to a fan watching the action on the ninth green.

"We needed that shot, that's what we need," the second-year coach at UHV exclaimed, lauding the shot.

He then dialed into his own golfer's shot from about the same spot. that shot, from freshman Vance Edwards, dropped in about 18 feet from the hole, to which he expressed approval.

For all the shortcomings UHV has against the field - it is, after all, an NAIA program coming against 11 other NCAA Division-I programs - it has one major advantage: Victoria Country Club is the Jaguars home course.

But it doesn't matter if the team can't use it to the best of its abilities.

"Got to be smart enough to use it," he said. "It's the one sport where brains often neats out talent and strength."

The Jaguars stunned the field Sunday, using everything to their advantage as a team oto pen the Jim West Intercollegiate to tie for third place with a score of 4-over 292, tied with Nicholls State and Idaho.

The Jaguars are one of two teams in the field, with tournament leader Stephen F. Austin, to have two players under par in the first round.

UHV's Jonathan Allen rebounded from a bogey on the second to last hole to par the final one and hold onto a 2-under 70 for the day, good for third place individually.

Steven Jones also shot a 1-under 71 to help the Jaguars, but no one else on the team shot lower that 75.

"We had some guys play the course well, but we had some guys who played pretty mediocre," Williamson said. "We know that in order to win this, we have to all play well."

Still, he's pleased with the overall result. The Jaguars are in third in a tightly packed field heading into a pivotal second round, in which UHV can either make up ground or fall into the back of a 12 team pack.

Key to Monday? Turning in another successful team round.

"The good news is that we are still in the thick of it," Williamson said. "They have to come back again and do it tomorrow."



ALLEN SHOOTS TOP ROUND FOR UHV

Allen shot the round of the day for the Jaguars. But it almost wasn't so good.

The senior's shots on the 9th hole put him in two precarious spots: Behind several trees next to the fairway, and then off the green near a bunker.

He was able to save par thanks to a spectacular chip that left him 10 feet from the hole, and a key putt on the par 4.

"I hit a poor drive, hit it off the toe, and it went left and into the trees," he said. "The line wasn't that great, and the wind took it way right.

"I had a down-hill chip, it wasn't easy, but it was doable. I wasn't going to bogey the last two."



SFA LEADS TOURNAMENT THANKS TO TWO LOW ROUNDS

The other team in the tournament to have two golfers under par is current tournament leader Stephen F. Austin, which also has the two individual leaders of the event.

Mitchell McLeroy leads the event after carding a 5-under 67, with teammate Stetson McMillan turning in a 3-under 69.

In all, 10 golfers shot rounds under par.•  Action continues in the Jim West Intercollegiate at 8 a.m. Monday, with a shotgun start for Tuesday's final round at 8 a.m.

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