Kellen Leads Redbirds at Mobile Bay Intercollegiate
Feb. 21, 2010
MOBILE, Ala. - Junior Jeff Kellen has helped Illinois State rebound nicely from a disappointing tournament last weekend at the Oak Hills Invitational. The Rockford, Ill., native finds himself tied for second place while his team is tied for fourth place in the 18-team field after the first round at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate in Mobile, Ala., Sunday.
Kellen fired a 2-under-par 70 while the Redbirds carded a 5-over-par 293. Head coach Ray Kralis is pleased with the improvement he has seen from his team.
"I'm really proud of the guys for the way they bounced back from last week," Kralis said. "They came up and played like they're capable of playing. I thought it was great how we successfully put last week behind us. We've got a lot of work ahead of us here, and we still have two rounds to go, but we're in a good spot."
Sophomore Eric Meier is tied for ninth place after he fired an even-par 72. Senior Tommy Bliefnick is tied for 26th place with a 2-over-par 74. Senior Joe Emerich, the defending champion, is tied for 55th place after carding a 5-over-par 77. Senior Kyle Bragg finished his first round with a 9-over-par 81 and is tied for 86th place. Junior Will Cullen, who is making his spring season debut, is competing as an individual. He finished with a 3-over-par 75 and is tied for 36th place.
Vanderbilt is in first place after they fired a 2-over-par 290. Mississippi and Memphis are both tied for second place after each team finished their round with a 3-over-par 291. Illinois State is tied with Middle Tennessee State for fourth place.
Kent Bulle of Middle Tennessee State is alone in first place after carding a 5-under-par 67. Kellen is in a four-way tie for second place with Nate McCoy of Iowa State, Trey Del Greco of Vanderbilt and Jack Hiluta of South Alabama.
Tomorrow's second round will begin with tee times starting at 7:30 a.m.
"I'm looking for us to get better and better as the tournament goes on," Kralis said. "Tomorrow's going to be a big day, but with the experience and the confidence from today we're excited about the opportunity tomorrow, and we're looking for good things to happen."
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