Hilltoppers finish at No. 10 in fall competition debut

Graduate Christian Tooley taking a look at where his chip shot landed on Aug. 26, 2020.  

Matthew Hargrove

Back on the green. The WKU Men’s golf program was back in action Sept. 13-15 at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate. The program journeyed to Choudrant, Louisiana amid the COVID-19 pandemic to begin fall competition. 

After settling down in the middle of the pack for the first two days of the tournament, the Hilltoppers fell to the bottom of the barrel on Sunday finishing at No. 10 out of 12 teams.

“I was very happy with the way we were playing, but unfortunately, we were just not able to close the event out,” Head Coach Chan Metts stated.

Day 1:

The Hilltoppers had the chance to be on the green again opening the fall season on Sunday, Sept. 13. 

Two-thirds of the WKU captains showed why they are the leaders of this program, earning that title from their coach this fall. 

Senior, Caleb O’Toole and redshirt senior Tom Bevington both played under average with O’Toole shooting 2-under 70 and Bevington shooting 1-under 71.

Another notable performance came from redshirt junior Dawson McDaniel, who like Bevington, shot a 1-under 71.

The team found themselves in fifth place with a 1-under 287, chasing that 6-under first place score going into Monday.

Day 2:

On following day the Hilltoppers didn’t get the results they were looking for after the opening round.

The Hilltoppers shot an unfavorable 7-over 295 that saw no athlete achieve an under par score.

Even though the Hilltoppers couldn’t find their form, they remained tied for fifth in the standings.

O’Toole continued his individual performance by shooting even par and while heading into the final day and he was three strokes back of a top three spot.

Day 3:

The final round was better than the last, but not by a large margin.

The team’s position moved up five spots into No. 10 after a 6-over 220 in Tuesday’s round.

For the second day in a row no Hilltopper shot under par, and the best score was right at even par.

The only difference was this time the 72 was shot by the new guy in graduate transfer Christian Tooley.

Tooley would finish the tournament tied for No. 30 individually, while his fellow captains O’Toole and Bevington both tied for No. 25.

For the rest of the Hilltopper roster, sophomore Luke Fuller placed at No. 55, McDaniel finished tied for No. 58, and senior Chase Landrum rounded out the lineup placing at No. 72.

No. 44 Alabama at Birmingham ran away with the trophy by putting up an impressive 21-under 843, which beat the next best team in the University of South Alabama by a total of 14 strokes which was 7-under 857.

WKU will look to bounce back at UAB on Sept. 29 when they compete in the Graeme McDowell Invitational.

Sports reporter Matthew Hargrove can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewHargrov1