ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Senior Dalton Owens shot even par and David Lingmerth tied for 10th overall to lead the Arkansas Razorback men’s golf team to a fourth-place finish at the 2010 Southeastern Conference men’s golf championships on Sunday afternoon at the Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
The Razorbacks opened the day in second place in the team standings and engaged in a back-and-forth battle with the eventual champion Georgia Bulldogs for most of the final round. Arkansas quickly erased a four-stroke deficit and were atop the leaderboard midway through the round, but would fall off the pace late to finish fourth with a three-round score of 853, 13-over-par. Georgia won the championship at four-over-par and was followed by Florida and Ole Miss who tied for second at nine over. LSU rounded out the top five teams at 16-over-par.
"I was pretty pleased with the way that we played all weekend," Arkansas head golf coach Brad McMakin said. "We actually had the lead with six holes to play, but just couldn’t get it done. Hopefully our young players can learn from this and handle it better in the future. With three newcomers in the lineup this year it bodes well for the future."
Arkansas’ fourth-place finish at the SEC Championships is one of its best since the Razorbacks joined the league for the 1992 season. In fact the Hogs’ 2010 score of 853 is its best score ever, improving on the 1995 SEC Championship squads’ total of 855. Two of Arkansas’ three rounds on the weekend ranked among Arkansas’ best including its final round score of 286 and five individual rounds by Razorbacks ranked among the best in Arkansas history.
Owens’ final round of even par, 70, was one of those record-book rounds as he shot three under par on the front side with three birdies and six pars. His final nine holes saw bogeys one 10, 14 and 18 and par on the remaining six holes to end the tournament at three-over-par, 211. His final score placed him in a tie for 12th overall among individuals and was 24 strokes and 32 places better than his only other SEC Championships performance in 2007.
Lingmerth also enjoyed a solid day as he finished his SEC career with a one-over-par, 71. A pair of birdies on four and eight placed him at two under at the turn, and then bogeys on 10, 14 and 18 finished off his day. Lingmerth’s score of 210 was a personal, improving on his 212 from a year ago, and placed him tied for 10th overall at the 2010 championships.
Junior Jamie Marshall posted Arkansas’ third best score of the day as he finished at three-over par, 73. A double bogey on the par five seventh hurt his overall score, but coupled with a birdie and two bogeys, Marshall finished the Championships at 217, seven-over-par, and tied for 26th.
Freshman Austin Cook’s final score of 216 was good for a tie for 22nd and he finished his first SEC Championships in a tie for 22nd. Cook sandwiched a birdie on the fourth hole with bogeys and posted four bogeys on the final nine holes to finish at 75 for the day, five-over-par. Fellow first-year player Josh Eure posted a 76 on his final round to end the tournament at 225, 15-over-par, and in 50th position.
The Razorbacks now wait to find out which of the six NCAA Regional sites they will compete in for an opportunity to play at the NCAA Championships.