Men's Golf Opens Season with Sixth-Place Finish at Turning Stone-Tiger Intercollegiate

Ken Keller (Photo by Drae Smith)
Ken Keller (Photo by Drae Smith)

Verona, N.Y. – Youngstown State men's golf team opened its 2019-20 season with a sixth-place finish in the Turning-Stone Tiger Intercollegiate at Turning Stone Resort on Monday.

The Penguins recorded a three-round team score of 903 to finish one stroke behind fifth-place Valparaiso. After beginning the event with a first-round score of 307 on Sunday, YSU improved 10 strokes with a 297 in the second round. The Guins fired a 299 in the final round on Monday to hold their sixth-place position.

Three of the five teams that finished ahead of Youngstown State are from Power Five conferences. North Carolina won the event comfortably by 35 strokes with a total score of 822 (-42). Missouri placed second (857), Delaware and Boston College tied for third (891) and Valparaiso was fifth (902). The Penguins finished seven strokes ahead of seventh-place Sacred Heart (910) while fellow Horizon League members Northern Kentucky (911) and Cleveland State (913) placed eighth and ninth, respectively.

Ken Keller led YSU with a three-round score of 222 (73-70-79) to finish in a tie for 16th. The junior's impressive two-under 70 in the second round included 13 pars and four birdies. Starting on No. 16, He made par or better on 11 consecutive holes to begin the round. His only hiccup in round two was a double bogey on No. 9. Keller's first-round 73 featured seven pars and five birdies as he played the final 12 holes at two under par.

Bryan Kordupel (73-81-71) and Kevin Scherr (81-73-71) each carded a three-round 225 to tie for 27th. Kordupel's final-round 71, which ranks as the lowest of his career, featured 11 pars and four birdies. The sophomore made par or better on 10 of his final 11 holes including each of the last six. Kordupel's first-round 73 included eight pars and six birdies. Starting on No. 17, the Boardman, Ohio, native got off to a hot start by shooting par or better on each of his first nine holes.

After a rocky first round on Sunday, Scherr bounced back with a very strong finish to the tournament. The junior's second-round 73 featured 10 pars and four birdies. Starting on No. 16, he made par or better on 12 of his first 13 holes to kick start a solid second session. Scherr's one-under 71 in Monday's third and final round saw him card 13 pars, two birdies and an eagle on the par-four No. 14. Over his final 12 holes, he shot an impressive four under par and went without a bogey.

Playing as an individual, Justin Stark tied for 33rd with a career-low three-round mark of 226 (76-78-72). The junior's even-par 72 in the final round also marked a career low and featured 11 pars and three birdies. After a couple of early bogeys, he settled in to play the final 12 holes at one under par. Following a bogey on No. 4, he made par or better on 11 straight holes until ending his round with a bogey at No. 16.

In his collegiate debut, Cole Christman carded a three-round 231 (80-73-78). After a tough start in round one, the freshman settled down to play the final nine holes at one under par. Christman carried that momentum into a strong second round that saw him make nine pars and four birdies on his way to a one-over 73. C.J. Hughes concluded the event with a three-round 243 (81-83-79). The junior finished the event strong by playing his final nine holes of the third round at even par.

Ryan Burnett of North Carolina took home medalist honors with a three-round total of 198 (69-65-64). His third-round 64 matched the lowest individual round of the tournament.

The Penguins will return to action Sept. 9-10 at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational at Guyan Golf and Country Club in Huntington, W. Va.