From Thomas Donley, MT Athletics
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee men’s golf heads back to the Schenkel Invitational this weekend. The three-day tournament hosted by Georgia Southern at the par-72, 7,123-yard Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. from March 17-19.
The Blue Raiders are coming a sixth-place finish at the Lake Las Vegas Intercollegiate, where Owen Stamper emerged with the first victory of his career. The junior shot a 205 (-11) for his third top-two finish of 2022-23.
At last year’s Schenkel Invitational, MTSU finished 10th with a team score of 876 (+12).
The forecast for the tournament shows cloudy conditions with an elevated chance of rain on Saturday.
- Stamper’s 205 (-11) at the Lake Las Vegas Invitational was a new career low. As of March 14, he is the No. 62 player in Division I according to Golfweek and No. 85 per Golfstat.
- Stamper leads the Blue Raiders with a scoring average of 70.5.
- Markus Varjun and Stamper have combined for five Conference USA Player of the Week awards, the most in a season since MTSU joined the league.
- Kevin Jegers recorded individual victories in back-to-back tournaments in 2021-22, each time setting the program 54-hole record.
- Michael Barnard’s 65 in the third round of last year’s Trinity Forest Invitational was the lowest of his career and tied for the fifth-lowest individual round in program history. His 54-hole score of 208 is tied for 22nd.
- MTSU returns three of its four players who played in 30 rounds or more in ’21-22, including Barnard, Jegers, and Owen Stamper.
- The four newcomers to the ’22-23 roster include Power 5 transfers Drew Miller (Ole Miss) and Tate Heintzelman (Indiana), and true freshman Sheldon McKnight and Luke Perkins.
- Also joining the Blue Raider program are former letterman Payne Denman, who returns as an assistant coach, and former MTSU tennis player Chris Edge, who will serve as a graduate assistant.
- The Blue Raiders enter the tournament ranked No. 81 in the Golfweek Collegiate Team Rankings and No. 69 in the most recent Golfstat rankings.