Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla. - The Youngstown State men's golf team used a phenomenal start to grab the lead at the midway point of the final round of the Horizon League Championships. YSU used the spurt to place third at the event, its best finish since 2014.
The Penguins finished with a three-round total of 899 after carding a final-round 296 on Tuesday. YSU opened the tournament with a 305 on Sunday and shot a 298 on Monday. YSU had two sub-300 rounds at the HL Championships for the first time since 2008. Winning the event was Wright State, which finished with a three-round score of 888. The Raiders closed out the event with an impressive final round of 288. Northern Kentucky, the day one and day two leader, dropped off the pace and finished second with a score of 896.
In the individual standings, sophomore Ken Keller led the way with a career-best sixth-place finish, sophomore Zack Ford tied his career-best finish at ninth, Kevin Scherr and C.J. Hughes tied for 20th and Jason McQuown was 27th.
On the front nine, the Penguins' four round counters were an impressive one-over par. Ford and Scherr were each two-under par while Keller and McQuown were two-over par. The front-nine run gave the Penguins a four-shot lead over the Raiders at one point during the round. On the back nine, the Guins were just five-over par as a squad.
Keller birided No. 1 and No. 6, and was two-over par on the opening nine. On the 10th, he eagled the par-5 and followed that with a birdie, three, on the par-4 11th hole. Following a par and a bogey, he birded the par-5 14th hole to get to one-under for his round. He made pars on three of the final four holes and carded a one-over par round of 73. His three day total of 222 gave him the top-10 finish.
Ford jump-started his round with an eagle on the first hole and a birdied the second. After a par and a bogey, he picked up his second eagle of the round with a two at the par-4 fifth to get him to four-under par. He had another birdie on the par-3 eighth hole, and had a two-under par 33 on the front nine. On the back nine, he picked up six pars to finish the round with a two-over par 74. For the tournament, he had a three-round score of 224 to finish an impressive ninth.
Scherr had his best round of the tournament with a one-under par 71, and finished with a three-day score of 230. On Tuesday, Scherr began his round with an eagle at the first hole and parred the next eight holes. He opened the back nine with a birdie at No. 10 and following a par at 11, had another birdie on the 12th hole to go to four-under par. He pared the next four holes before ending his round with a bogey and a double bogey.
Hughes tied for the team lead with four birdies during his final-round 78. He ended the tournament with a three-round score of 230. Hughes had birdies at No. 1, No. 5, No. 9 and No. 10, but only had one par through his first 12 holes. He settled in to par the final six holes and card a 38 on the back nine.
McQuown finished his YSU career with a final round of 78, and had a three-day total of 234. He started his day with a birdie at the first hole and had five pars and three bogeys the remainder of his first nine holes. On the back nine, he finished with pars on five of his last eight holes.