Senior golfer Patrick Jenkins of Chandler, Ariz., fired a one-under-par 71 to medal in Spring Hill's first event of the 2007 fall season, but William Carey University escaped with a seven-stroke upset victory on Monday afternoon. Jenkins' score was all the more impressive considering it was the first time the Badgers men's golf team had played the course in Hattiesburg, Miss., that features narrow fairways and many elevated tees and greens.
Spring Hill Head Coach Steve Hodges stated, "Pat works on his game every opportunity he has available and his hard work paid off today. I am really proud of Pat."
Badgers' Assistant Coach Paul Ezelle commented that walk-on freshman Eddie Smith of San Antonio, Tex., may get the reputation as "Steady Eddie" as his shots were splitting the fairways and finding many greens in regulation. "He's a fundamentally sound player," said Ezelle, "and while he lipped out four birdie putts, he still came in with a score of 75."
William Carey won the match with a 311 total score compared to Spring Hill's 318, but the Badger players reacted well to the loss according to their coaches. "This was a season opener," Hodges said, "Our top players are capable of shaving 30 or more strokes off this first score. Our goal is 288 per day which equals four rounds of even par golf."
The top five Badger players declared for this match came in with a total score of 318 - Jenkins (71), sophomore Sean Bockerstett of St. Louis (79), senior David Lysaught from Denver (83), sophomore Will Loweth of Houston (85) and sophomore T.L. Butts of Mobile (86).
"When we have depth such as Smith and our other new players who bring talent to the table, we expect to be competing for national-level hardware," Hodges and Ezelle said, "Don't be surprised if this team becomes the first NAIA National Champions for Spring Hill. We believe we can do it!"