By ASHLEY OWENS
Eastern’s men’s golf team finished its regular season on a high note as it brought home the Cobra Puma Invitational title April 20 and 21, just days before winning its 12th OVC Championship April 24-26. The Colonels finished the 54-event invitational with a three-round total of 868. Round one and two each ended with a score of 285 while Eastern finished its last round with 298 for the first place spot.
The invitational, hosted by Xavier University, took place at the par-72, 6,690-yard course at the Maketewah Country Club.
Eastern finished six shots in front of Western Kentucky University (874) at second place while host Xavier (884) took the third place spot.
As for the Colonels, senior Taylor Riggs led the way in third place. Riggs shot three rounds of 69-73-72 for a total of 214 and earned the title of OVC Golfer of the Week for his efforts.
Freshman Jared Brown tied with teammate and fellow freshman Will Sallee for sixth place with round totals of 218. Brown’s scores were 71-68-79 while Sallee shot rounds of 72-70-76. Freshman Noah Combs (221) tied at 15th and sophomore Travis Rose (229) tied at 26th for Eastern.
The invitational set the Colonels up for a successful trip at the OVC Championship on April 24-26, where the team brought home the Championship title. Eastern finished five shots ahead of second place and saw four of the Colonels’ five players finish in the top-11.
Eastern ended day one of the Championship in sixth after shooting a first-round score 295. From there, the Colonels used a second-round score of 280 to move up to first place where the team stayed for the remainder of the tournament. The Colonels finished with a three-round total of 868.
Tennessee Tech University (873), Belmont University (873) and Murray State University (873) all tied for second place while Austin Peay State University (874) dropped from second place on Saturday to fifth place in the final round on Sunday.
The championship was at the par 72, 7,248-yard Fighting Joe Course at The Shoals.
Brown led the Colonels in seventh place where he shot a three-round total 216 and was picked as one of five chosen players to join the 2015 OVC All-Newcomer team. Riggs followed just behind Brown and tied at eighth with a 217 total. Riggs was selected for the 10-member All-OVC team.
Sundlof tied with fellow Colonel Sallee, each with a total score of 218. Sundlof was also chosen All-OVC team, making this his second consecutive All-OVC honor.
Also competing for Eastern was Combs (223), who tied for 27th.
With winning the OVC Championship, the Colonels have an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship, which will be announced May 4 on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program. The program airs from 7-11 a.m. ET. The announcement will also stream live on Golf Channel’s website.
The NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 14-16 while the NCAA Championship is scheduled for May 29 through June 3 at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.