Men’s Golf: Raiders wrap up fall with win at MTSU Intercollegiate

Photo by Andrew Brown / MTSU Sidelines

Photo by Andrew Brown/ MTSU Sidelines

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raider men’s golf team finished up their fall season in Murfreesboro at Old Fort Golf Club when they won the MTSU Intercollegiate on Monday with a score of 10-over par.

The Raiders were joined by the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Austin Peay Governors, Belmont Bruins, Tennessee State Tigers, Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks, Morehead State Eagles, Eastern Illinois Panthers, Vanderbilt Commodores and the Northern Kentucky Norse.

“It’s really cool for us to be here at Old Fort,” said head coach Brennan Webb. “We’ve established more of a relationship with The Grove, which is a fantastic facility and we appreciate that relationship, but to be here at Old Fort is a cool thing.”

Middle Tennessee’s participants included Chip Thomas, Ilari Saulo, Tyler Johnson, James Beckner, Tanner Owens, Hoyeong Kim and Graham Gosselin.

Just six days removed from their last tournament, the Raiders chose to rest Marcus Byrd, whose 70.8 scoring average leads the team.

“A win is a win, to say we did well, I don’t think anyone is going to say that,” Webb said. “I certainly expected to play a little better then we did. You can’t control what the other teams do, but we can control what we do and I don’t think we performed to the best of our abilities by any means.”

Round 1 recap

At the end of round one, the Raiders found themselves locked up with Morehead State in a tie for the lead at 7-over par as a team.

The Raiders were led individually in round one by Hoyeong Kim. Kim’s five birdies’ in the first round helped him finish up with a 4-under par (68).

Kim was followed up by Chip Thomas, who fired a 1-under par (71). Thomas tied with Kim for the most birdies in the opening round with five of his own.

Tyler Johnson just missed saving par, finishing his first round with a 1-over par (73). Had it not been for a triple-bogey on the tenth hole, Johnson would’ve finished the round at 2-under par.

Ilari Saulo shot a 3-over par (75) in his opening round. After starting the front nine at 3-over, Saulo rebounded to save par on the back nine.

Murfreesboro native Tanner Owens had a 4-over par (76). Owens picked up his play on the back nine as well and shot just 1-over, as opposed to his 3-over on the front nine.

Graham Gosselin finished a stroke behind Owens with a 5-over par (77). Along with Kim, Gosselin only played three rounds prior to the MTSU Intercollegiate.

James Beckner rounded out the group with a 6-over par (78) through the first 18. Beckner was 3-over on both the front and back nine.

“(The cold weather in the first round) is something you just kind of have to accept,” Thomas said. “On the second hole, there was basically snow on the ground. It’s something you have to adjust to and understand that everyone else has to deal with the same weather.”

Round 2 recap

MTSU picked up their play collectively, shooting 3-over as a team in the second round.

Thomas roared to the forefront, accounting for six birdies in his final round to finish the tournament at 4-under par. That score helped Thomas tie for the individual championship with Morehead State’s Cooper Collins.

“It was a pretty solid day,” Thomas said. “I think I had 11 birdies, so I played quite well. I had a quite a few bogeys which hurt me, but I’m happy we could scratch out a team win.”

Although Kim shot 4-over in his final round, he ended the tournament at even par.

Tyler Johnson improved in his final 18 holes. Johnson ended the day with a two-round total of 3-over par.

Ilari Saulo and Graham Gosselin both improved three strokes and two strokes, respectively, to end the tournament. Saulo ended up at 5-over, while Gosselin finished with a score of 8-over.

Tanner Owens and James Beckner bettered their first round scores by three strokes and four strokes, respectively. Owens ended up with a finally tally of 7-over par. Beckner carded an 8-over.

What’s next?

The Blue Raiders will begin their winter conditioning program and get in a few practice rounds individually in preparation for the spring.

MTSU will be back in action on Feb. 18 when they tee off from San Juan in the Puerto Rico classic.

Follow MTSU sports reporter Anthony Fiorella on Twitter at @A_Fiorella74 for more coverage.

To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis (@RustyEllis13), email

For more sports stories, follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter and Periscope at @Sidelines_Sport.

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