By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - It's only been one week, but the Tennessee Tech men's golf team is showing that last year's third place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament was no fluke. The Golden Eagles placed fifth at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate Tuesday afternoon.
Despite facing stiff competition, including two Southeastern Conference opponents and a Louisiana-Lafayette team that finished with the second-highest 54-hole score in tournament history, the Tech squad still managed to play its own game. The Golden Eagles edged out host Southern Miss by one stroke to claim the fifth place finish, totaling an 847 on the par-71, 6,902-yard Hattiesburg Country Club course.
Tech also defeated SEC power Ole Miss, besting the Rebels by nearly 10 strokes, and taking down 10 other teams in the 15-team event.
Junior Lee Whitehead put together his best performance as a Golden Eagle in the two-day tournament, scoring a 208 (five strokes better than his previous career-high of 213). Whitehead finished tied for 10th in the tournament, giving him his third consecutive top 10 finish dating back to last spring.
It took a special third day from three Golden Eagles to grab the fifth place finish as sophomores Adam Cunningham and Bryce Kendrick and junior Mason Griffin each shot third-round 69s to collect 54-hole scores of 214, 215, and 216, respectively.
Cunningham set a new 54-hole round personal best with his 214, beating his previous best three-round score by two strokes. Kendrick's 215 marked the second-best three-round score by, falling just one stroke shy of his 214 at last season's Big Blue Intercollegiate.
Mitch Thomas rounded things out for the Tech group, carding a three-round 218 and a 46th place finish out of nearly 90 golfers.
The Golden Eagles will hit the links on Sept. 30 when they head northwest for the Murray State Invitational at Miller Memorial Golf Course.