Grasonville, Md. — Five Penguins finished in the top 15 as the Youngstown State men's golf team earned its first victory of the season on Sunday at the Towson Spring Invitational.
YSU posted a two-round team score of 588 to finish in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with Towson and Sacred Heart. The tiebreaker was based on the lowest score of the fifth golfer for each team who did not count as part of team scoring. The tiebreaker resulted in Youngstown State finishing first, Sacred Heart second and Towson third.
The Penguins' two-round mark of 588 ranks as the fifth-lowest 36-hole score in program history. YSU set the school record for lowest 36-hole performance with a 571 earlier this season at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational. YSU carded a 287 during Saturday's first round before recording a 301 in the final session on Sunday.
Youngstown State held a seven-shot lead heading into the final round of play. The team's 287 (-1) was the only round of par or better during Saturday's first round, and one of only two for the entire tournament. Only Towson's second-round 285 was lower than the Penguins' first-round performance. YSU's first-round 287 also ranks as the squad's second-lowest 18-hole mark of the season.
All five golfers in YSU's lineup finished in the top 15 of the individual standings. Kevin Scherr (75-72) and Zack Ford (69-78) each fired a two-round 147 to finish tied for ninth. Scherr's even-par 72 on Sunday featured 12 pars and three birdies, and he birdied or pared eight straight holes at one point. The sophomore earned his third top-10 finish of the season, and fourth in the top 15. He has now been YSU's top finisher six times in nine events this season.
Ford set career bests for lowest round, lowest 36-hole score and highest finish. The sophomore's 3-under-par 69 in the first round included 11 pars and five birdies with a stretch of eight straight holes of par or better. It was the team's lowest single-round mark, and tied for the lowest round of the entire event. Ford, who transferred to YSU following the fall semester, also collected the first top-10 finish of his career.
C.J. Hughes (73-76), Ken Keller (72-77) and Jason McQuown (73-76) each posted a two-round 149 to finish in a tie for 15th. Hughes and McQuown both earned their second top-15 finish of the campaign while Keller registered his first. Hughes' one-over 73 on Saturday featured 13 pars and two birdies, and he shot par or better on 11 straight holes from No. 5 to No. 15.
McQuown's first-round 73 saw 11 pars and three birdies, and was his lowest single-round score since firing a two-under 69 in September. Keller's even-par 72 on Saturday, which included 10 pars and four birdies, was his best round since shooting a 4-under-par 67 in September. Playing as an individual, Justin Stark finished tied for 32nd with a 152 (77-75). The sophomore was one stroke over par with eight pars on the front nine during the first round. He also went one-over with six pars and a birdie on the back nine on Sunday.
Sacred Heart's Saptak Talwar won medalist honors by one stroke over Max Palmer of Robert Morris with a 5-under-par 139 (69-70).
Youngstown State's final tuneup before the Horizon League Championships will come April 15 at the Southern Intercollegiate hosted by Georgia at Athens Country Club in Athens, Ga.