The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Missouri Southern Sports

April 17, 2012

PSU wins Sonic golf point from Lions; Natalie Bird places second in MIAA golf

SMITHVILLE, Mo. — Central Missouri rallied in the final round Tuesday and won the MIAA Men’s Golf Championships at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex.

The No. 23-ranked Mules, seven shots behind Washburn after Monday’s two rounds, fired a final-round 3-under-par 285 for an 877 total to earn a four-shot victory over the Ichabods, who shot 296 in the final round at “The Outlaw” course.

Missouri Western was third with 900, followed by Fort Hays State 907, Pittsburg State 908, Missouri Southern 929, Lincoln 932 and Southwest Baptist 978.

The Mules swept the conference points tournaments this season and have won the last 12 MIAA golf events.

Pittsburg State tied for fourth place in the final conference standings with 20.5 points, and Missouri Southern was sixth with 14. With the Gorillas taking the Sonic Trophy Series in golf for the first time in the competition’s three years, Missouri Southern leads 6-5 with men’s and women’s outdoor track points to be awarded after the conference meet next month at Emporia State.

Missouri Southern’s Ryan Russell tied for eighth in the individual standings with 225 after rounds of 77-74-74. The Lions’ other scores: Ben Knight 234, Gill Williams 235, Jared Essary 238 and Adam Johnson 241.

Cole Murrin paced Pittsburg State with 72-77-73—222, good for seventh place. The Gorillas’ Brett Dowell tied for 13th with 227, and Garrett Fowler tied for 19th with 230.

The Gorillas’ Justice Valdivia finished 23rd with 231, but he wound up fourth in the conference’s season standings with 15 points, earning first team all-league honors.

Riley Piles of Washburn shot 71-71-68 for a 6-under-par 210 to win medalist honors by five shots over Tyler Gast of Missouri Western. Central Missouri’s Jared King and Cy Moritz tied for third at 216, and King was named conference player of the year.

Bird finishes second

Natalie Bird of Missouri Western placed second in the MIAA Women’s Golf Championship that concluded Tuesday at “The Posse” course at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex.

Bird, a graduate of Carl Junction High School, shot rounds of 79-81 for a 160 total. Cassie Lowell of Northwest Missouri State claimed medalist honors with 152 after two rounds of 76.

Fort Hays State held on to win the team championship by a single shot over Missouri Western 664-665, and third-place Northwest Missouri was just three back at 667. The Tigers held the first-round lead with 333 and closed with a 331. Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri each shot 329s in the final 18 holes.

Steph Charteris of Northwest Missouri was third overall with 161 and was named the league’s freshman of the year.

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