Redbirds Rebound, Finish Second at Mobile Bay Intercollegiate
Feb. 23, 2010
MOBILE, Ala. - After a disappointing last-place finish at last week's Oak Hills Invitational, the Illinois State men's golf team responded in a positive way finishing in second place in the 18-team field at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate in Mobile, Ala., Tuesday. The Redbirds were led by junior Jeff Kellen who finished the three-day, three-round tournament tied for third place.
"This was a big stepping stone for us," Kralis said. "I'm really encouraged by the depth that our team displayed and it shows what we're capable of. It's a huge step in the right direction and something we can really build off of as we continue to move forward in the spring."
Kellen fired a 1-under-par 215 (70-71-74) as the Redbirds finished with a 14-over-par 878 (293-293-292) for the tournament, which was just one shot behind first-place Mississippi.
Head coach Ray Kralis was proud of his team for the way the battled back after a tough tournament last week.
"I think it just speaks volumes about the character of these guys," Kralis said. "We all continued to believe and we knew we were a much better team than we showed last week. Today we hit the lowest round (292) of the field and moved up past some quality teams."
Senior Tommy Bliefnick moved up 15 spots in the standings the final day. The Decatur, Ill., native finished alone in 13th place carding a 3-over-par 219 (74-74-71). Sophomore Eric Meier also moved up as he finished tied for 25th place with a 7-over-par 223 (72-76-75). Senior Joe Emerich, last year's champion, ended the tournament tied for 35th place after he posted a 9-over-par 225 (77-74-74). After a disappointing first day of his tournament, senior Kyle Bragg moved up 27 spots from yesterday to finish tied for 52nd place with a 12-over-par 228 (81-74-73). Competing as an individual, junior Will Cullen tied for 30th place after firing an 8-over-par 224 (75-76-73).
Mississippi took first place honors posting a 13-over-par 877 (291-285-301). Illinois State finished one shot behind them to claim second place, and Louisville was one shot behind ISU at 15-over-par 879 (299-286-294) to take third place. Kent Bulle of Middle Tennessee State and Jack Hiluta of South Alabama tied for first place after each fired a 3-under-par for the tournament.
The Redbirds will travel to Placida, Fla., to take on in-state rival Illinois Saturday. The match-play tournament will be held at the Coral Creek Club.
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