Men's Golf Travels To Jackrabbit Invite

March 10, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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Sophomore Nic Booth
Sophomore Nic Booth
Courtesy: SUU Strategic Communications

CEDAR CITY, Utah, March 10 - Southern Utah University's men's golf team plays the third event of its 2012 spring season Monday and Tuesday when the Thunderbirds compete at South Dakota State's Jackrabbit Invitational.

The tournament is scheduled to be played at the par 72, 7,131-yard Desert Course at Primm Valley Golf Club in Primm, Nev.

Seniors Jeff Evans and Brad Millard, sophomores Nic Booth and Jake Holt and freshman Sammy Cole are likely to compete for the Thunderbirds.

The field for the tournament has not been released.

SUU finished ninth last year, led by Jeff Evans' seventh place finish.

Last Year At The Jackrbbit Invitational: Jeff Evans shot a final-round 71 to finish at eight-under par 208 and in a three-way tie for seventh place Tuesday to lead Southern Utah to a ninth place finish. Evans shot all three rounds under par after opening with a 67 and firing a 70 in his second round. He finished nine shots off the pace of Missouri's Jace Long, who earned medalist honors after shooting all three rounds in the 60s and finishing at 17-under par 199, two shots ahead of teammate Sutart Ballingall.  Missouri also claimed the team title with a score of 827, one shot better than Idaho and 19 shots better than third place UMKC, which checked in at 846. Southern Utah finished at 15-over par 879, five shots behind South Dakota State which finished eighth and 11 up on Oakland, which was 10th. Brad Millard (71-76-74) was second among Thunderbirds in 43rd place at 221, while Nic Booth (75-78-72) was 54th at 225. Booth, Jake Holt and Greg Kerber all fired their low round of the tourney Tuesday, with Booth shooting 71 to finish at 227 after rounds of 77 and 79 and Kerber shooting even par after rounds of 77 and 79 to finish at 228. Holt wound up in a tie for 57th place while Kerber finished 63rd. SUU's Jordan Orth, who was competing as an individual, finished 30th at 219 (73-70-76).

The Coach: Richard Church (Utah '89) is in his 12th season as head golf coach and his 16th on the staff at Southern Utah. Prior to taking over the program from former Coach John Evans, Church spent four seasons as the Thunderbirds' assistant coach. During his tenure on the SUU staff, Church has coached five academic all-Americans, one Mid-Continent Conference medalist, two Mid-Con runner-ups and the University's first NCAA post-season competitor in golf. He has also seen the team finish second in the league five times since SUU began competing in The Summit League (ne. Mid-Con) in 1997-98.

Last Time Out: SUU shot a final-round 295 over the 7,305-yard Classic Club course to move up two spots and finish 17th with a final score of 894 at the 24-team Desert Intercollegiate golf tournament, hosted by the University of Wyoming. Jeff Evans led the way, in 40th place, for the Thunderbirds at 3-over par 219, while freshman Sammy Cole finished 68th at 225, senior Brad Millard was 78th at 227, sophomore Jake Holt finished 92nd at 230 and sophomore Nic Booth was 98th at 232. Evans carded rounds of 73-71-75 while Cole moved up 15 spots with a final-round 70 after opening at 76-79. As a team SUU shot an opening-round 300 on Saturday, followed with a 299 in a split round that began on Saturday but was suspended because of darkness and finished on Sunday, then wrapped up with the 295.  Fourteenth-ranked UNLV was the team champion at 20-under par 844, while No. 50 Texas Tech was second at 851 and No. 2 Auburn was third at 855. SUU finished three shots behind UC Riverside (891) and three ahead of Cal Poly (897) in the tournament that featured nine teams ranked among Golfstat's top-50 NCAA Division I squads, including four top-20 teams: Auburn, UNLV, No. 15 Texas A&M (finished tied for fifth with #47 SMU) and Kent State (finished eighth at even par 864) at 2-under 862.