Men's Golf

YSU Looks For Best Outing of Season at HL Championships

Joe Santisi

The Youngstown State men's golf team will look to have their best performance of the season at the Horizon League Championships which start on Friday at the Mission Inn Resort Golf Course at Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla.

The Penguins have placed third in each of the past two Horizon League Championships and have been third in three of the past four HL meets. YSU will be trying to advance to the NCAA Regionals for the first time in school history.

Last year, Youngstown State placed third in the team race by 11 strokes behind Cleveland State. The Vikings won by seven shots over Wright State while the Guins were four back of the Raiders. In the tournaments final round, YSU carded a 302, which was the second-lowest round of the entire tournament. Four of the Penguins' five golfers shot in the 70s on Sunday.

Seniors Anthony Conn and Joe Santisi are the most experienced golfers on the roster entering the tournament.

Conn will be making his third appearance at the Horizon League Championships. Last year he tied for 13th with a three-round score of 235. He had a low round 74 on the final day of competition. In 2010, he placed 19th. This year, Conn has led the Penguins averaging 75.1 strokes per round. He has had two top-10 finishes and been the team's best finisher in four of the 11 tournaments.

Santisi will be hoping to duplicate his finish from the 2010 HL meet. Two years ago, Santisi placed eighth carding a three-round 221. In 2011, Santisi was 33rd and as a freshman in 2009, he was 24th. This year, he is averaging 77.5 strokes per round.

Sophomores Shayne Wilson and Mark Olbrych along with redshirt freshman Bryan Yeo will be in the mix as well.

Olbrych was the only other Penguin to compete at the HL Championships in 2011. He finished 23rd with a three-round total of 240, but started off the event with a 76 on day one. This year, he is averaging 76.9 strokes per round. He has been the team's top finisher five times this season and six of his last nine rounds have been 74 or less.

Wilson was the team's best finisher last time out at the Ball State Invitational. Wilson had a 226 at Ball State, highlighted by a 71 in the final round. He has competed in only three of five tournaments this spring, but his peformance last week moved him into the tournament lineup.

Yeo has come on this spring and could play a key role where the Penguins finish. He has been in the lineup the last seven tournaments and turned in a 10th-place finish at the Detroit Titans Invitational earlier this month. Five of his last seven rounds have been 76s or less.

The best team finish since the Guins joined the league was in 2006 when they were second. Individually, Nate Komsa (2004) and Ryan Stocke (2010) have earned medalist honors for the Guins at the event. Last year's co-medalists carded scores of 224 in the first championships held in Florida.

The NCAA Regionals are set for May 17-19 at six sites across the country.