Dickson, TN – Senior Michael Busse took runner-up honors as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s golf team made a strong final-day push at the Murray State Invitational at Greystone Golf Club, Tuesday.
The Govs didn’t make the requisite headway required to break into the field’s top-three, with Belmont (844) winning the event, followed by UT Martin (847) and Southern Illinois (854); however, Austin Peay State University’s final-round 280 was Tuesday’s best round and tied with the Salukis second-round score for second-best in the two-day event.
Busse continued a strong tournament in his final appearance at Greystone as a Gov; he closed with a one-under 71, Tuesday, securing runner-up honors by a shot over UT Martin’s Nick Wolf. Busse (69-68-71—208) was strong throughout the event, from his tournament-best 4.42 average on par-5 holes to his team-high 15 birdies, including two in two days on the 358-yard par-4 at No. 8, which yielded just 35 birdies across the entire event.
It was a good day to go low for the Govs, who put four players under par in the final round. Two found their way into top-20 finishes, with Austin Lancaster (seventh) and Jordan Rodriguez (18th) firing matching 70s to close the event. Lancaster (68-74-70—212) was his usual steady self with a team-high 32 pars and an even 4.00 average on par-4 attempts, while Rodriguez (71-76-70—217) splashed home five birdies on the day, including a hot streak from Hole Nos. 12-15 that included three birdies.
The days top performance went to Garrett Whitfield, who carded a 69—his best round since a 69 on this same course in 2018—to jump 25 spots up the leaderboard. Whitfield (79-74-69—222) birdied both the 340-yard par-4 at No. 5 and the tricky 210-yard par-3 at No. 6; those holes played as the fifth and sixth-toughest on the course, Tuesday, and Whitfield was one of just two players in the field to birdie both.
The only other player to equal Whitfield’s feat was his teammate Alex Vegh, who rallied from a tough second-round to post a 238 (77-85-76). Austin Peay’s two individuals had plenty of high points as well, particularly in the short game where both Chase Korte (70-73-75—218) and Adam Van Raden (77-74-77—228) thrived. Van Raden led the tournament in par-3 scoring at 2.75 strokes per hole, while Korte was right behind him at 2.83 on par-3 holes and also canned 13 birdies on the week.
The Govs are back in action next week for their final 2020-21 regular season event, the Big Blue Classic, hosted by Tennessee State in Nashville.