SHSU Golf has success on the green

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The Sam Houston State University golf teams have seen early success with two tournaments each in the books.

The women’s team has finished third and fourth, respectively, through its first two competitions of the season and saw sophomore Hanna Alberto pick up an individual championship in the opener. Men’s golf opened the 2017 campaign with a pair of top-5 finishes including a thrilling playoff victory in their opening tournament.

Alberto wasted no time in continuing the success she had last year during her excellent freshman campaign.  Finishing her third round of the Lady Maxwell Cup tied atop the leaderboard, she drained a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to clinch her individual title.  As a team, the Bearkats shot 900 to claim their third place finish.

The Hobble Creek Fall Classic yielded another strong performance from the team.  Their final team score of 891 was good for fourth place, and Alberto had another strong performance, shooting a 70 to finish the tournament in third place at 3-under par.

Women’s golf will tee off again on Oct. 2 when they host the two-day Bearkat Women’s Invitational at Raven Nest in Huntsville.

Men’s golf has made a statement to begin their season, as well.  Junior Austen Christiansen stood out in their first competition as he birdied the 18 hole at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate Golf Tournament to allow the Bearkats to eventually clinch first place as a team with a two-stroke playoff victory.

“It feels amazing,” Christiansen said.  “Especially with it being the first tournament of the year.  It springs us forward.  It puts a really good taste in our mouth.”

Following the team victory in Massachusetts, the men headed to Colorado Monday and Tuesday for the two-day Ram Invitational.

Sophomore William Holcomb posted a top-20 finish for the second consecutive week as the Bearkats finished fifth in Fort Collins.  Senior Jake McCrory made an impressive 13-spot leap up the leaderboard on the final day to finish 28 overall.

“I told Jake, he was a great leader this week,” head coach Brandt Kieschnick said.  “He was really our jolt today.  It gave us some hope we could catch the teams in front of us.”

Men’s golf will return to the course on Oct. 9 for the two-day Bayou City Collegiate in Pearland.