Southern Miss Men's Golf Team Sets New School Record - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Southern Miss Men's Golf Team Sets New School Record

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The Golden Eagles start 2013 with a step in the right direction.

"The team really stepped up today, and gives us something to build on - first event of the year, so we have a lot to work with," says Southern Miss head men's golf coach Jerry Weeks.

USM kicked off its season with a sixth-place finish at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate, a two-day, three-round tournament hosted by Southern Miss.

The team finished with a 54-hole score of 848, and a third round total of 273.

"Well I was informed that was a new school record for one day total, so we're in the record books which shows me that we're working in the right direction - let's put it that way - so we just need to continue to work," says Weeks.

USM's strong finish brought them within 11 strokes of the lead by tournament's end, but The University of Louisiana Lafayette ultimately beat out Mississippi State for the first place trophy by just one stroke.

Nonetheless, Weeks remains positive over his team's performance.

"Well our goal was to finish even par for the tournament and we surpassed that, and we wanted to beat more teams today than we lost to at the end of the tournament and we did that, so really I'm pleased with how we did finish," says Weeks.

Weeks attributes part of that finish to an individual bounceback effort.

"Kevin's got a lot of talent and we worked hard, got some of it today and I'm really proud of him for coming back and playing well," says Weeks.

"It was tough leaving the first 36 holes the way I did, so I wanted to come out here and play solid golf and put well and see what would happen," says senior Kevin Brady.

Brady shot a third round score of 67, the lowest individual mark for any Southern Miss player in the tournament.

Brady already looks to take that momentum into the team's next event.

"We play like the way we did and hit it a little closer, I think we'll have a good chance of winning that tournament," says Brady.

That tournament is the eighth annual Fightin' Irish Gridiron Golf Classic.

Notre Dame hosts the two-day event starting Sept. 23.

After Day One:

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss men's golf team sits in sixth-place after two rounds of the 11th annual Sam Hall Intercollegiate, played at Hattiesburg Country Club.

The Golden Eagles shot rounds of 291 and 284 to sit seven-over, one shot behind UT-San Antonio and Arkansas State.

Sophomore Kevin Jorden, playing in his first career tournament, is tied for 21st-place at one-under par after shooting rounds of 68 and 73. Sophomore Tyler Peggs is tied for 27th-place at even par. Peggs opened with a 72 before firing a career-low 70, which was also his first career round under par. His 36-hole score of 142 is also a career-best.

Senior Zach Estep, junior Casey Fernandez and senior Jared Smith are all tied for 34th-place at two-over par. Estep shot consecutive 72's, shot a 76 and a career-best 68. Smith also shot consecutive 72's for a career-low 36-hole score of 144.

Senior Kevin Brady is tied for 50th-place at four-over par after rounds of 72 and 74. Junior Matt McKagen is tied for 75th-place at 151. He opened with a career-best 72 but followed with a 79. His 36-hole score of 151 is also a career best.

Junior Drew Kirby and sophomore Michael Perez are tied for 79th-place at 10-over par. Kirby posted rounds of 75 and 77 and Perez carded rounds of 80 and 72. Senior Trent Hillis closed things out at 13-over par to tie for 82nd-place after rounds of 77 and 78.

Louisiana-Lafayette leads the tournament at 15-under par with a 36-hole score of 553, setting a new 36-hole tournament record. Its second round 272 is the second lowest round in tournament history. Mississippi State is in second at 11-under par and South Alabama is 10-under par in third.

Zach Cabra of Sam Houston State set a new course record by firing a second round 62.

Southeastern Louisiana's Grady Brame and Joe Sakulpolphaisan of Mississippi State are tied for the individual lead at nine-under par. South Alabama's Michael Garretson is eight-under par in third-place.

The tournament concludes tomorrow with the final round, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Fans can follow all the action live at www.golfstat.com.

13 Southern Mississippi     +7           291         284         575

T21 Kevin Jorden                 -1            68           73           141

T27 Tyler Peggs                    E              72           70           142

T34 Zach Estep                     +2           72           72           144

T34 Casey Fernandez          +2           76           68           144

T34 Jared Smith                    +2           72           72           144

T50 Kevin Brady                   +4           72           74           146

T75 Matt McKagen              +9           72           79           151

T79 Drew Kirby                    +10         75           77           152

T79 Michael Perez               +10         80           72           152

T82 Trent Hillis                     +13         77           78           155

After Day Two:

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss men's golf team fired a final round 273 to finish in sixth-place at the season-opening Sam Hall Intercollegiate.

The 273 is a new school record. The 54-hole score of 848 is the second lowest in school history.

"It's always good to set records," said Southern Miss head coach Jerry Weeks. "Records are certainly made to be broken. Our expectations are high and we expect to break that record this season, if not in the very near future. We're honored to hold the one day record and we look forward to the challenge to do it again."

Sophomore Tyler Peggs fired a 69 to finish with a 54-hole score of 211, both of which were career-lows. His 69 is also the second career round of par or better.

Sophomore Kevin Jorden, playing in his first career tournament, and junior Casey Fernandez tied for 21st-place at one-under par. Jorden shot an even-par 71 while Fernandez tied a career-low with a 68. He also tied a career-best 54-hole score of 212.

Senior Kevin Brady set a career-low by firing a 67 to finish even par in a 23rd-place tie. Senior Jared Smith also fired a career-low, carding a 70 to tie for 26th-place at one-over par. His 54-hole score of 214 is also a career-best.

Senior Zach Estep tied for 47th-place at six-over par after posting a 75. Junior Drew Kirby tied for 56th-place after carding a career-low 69. It is his first career round in the 60's and second career round of par or better.

Sophomore Michael Perez posted a 71, finishing with a career-low 54-hole score of 223. He tied for 65th-place at 10-over par.

Junior Matt McKagen finished in 79th-place at 14-over par. He carded a 76 to tie his career-low 54-hole score of 227. Senior Trent Hillis closed things out at 17-over par to finish in 83rd-place after shooting a 75.

Louisiana-Lafayette won the team tournament at 15-under par with a 54-hole score of 837, the second lowest score in tournament history. Mississippi State finished in second at 14-under par.

Mississippi State's Joe Sakuolpolphasan won the individual competition at 14-over par, tying the tournament record.

Southern Miss returns to the links Sept. 23-24, when it travels to South Bend, Ind., for the Fightin' Irish Gridiron Golf Classic.

6 Southern Mississippi        -4            291         284         273         848

T19 Tyler Peggs                    -2            72           70           69           211

T21 Kevin Jorden                 -1            68           73           71           212

T21 Casey Fernandez          -1            76           68           68           212

T23 Kevin Brady                   E              72           74           72           213

T26 Jared Smith                    +1           72           72           70           214

T47 Zach Estep                     +6           72           72           75           219

T56 Drew Kirby                    +8           75           77           69           221

T65 Michael Perez               +10         80           72           71           223

79 Matt McKagen                +14         72           79           76           227

83 Trent Hillis                       +17         77           78           75           230

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