Webster University will need to rewrite its record book following its performance here Tuesday in the final round of the Rhodes College Spring Classic held at Windyke Country Club.
At the event hosted by Rhodes College, Webster shot a school record final round score of 5-under par 283 to finish fifth out of 16 teams at Webster's final regular season spring event. The 5-under score of 283 is the lowest 18 hole team score for the program in school history and the first time the Gorloks have ever shot under par in a round as a team in the program history.
Webster finished four shots in front of Maryville (Tenn.) College, who shot an 871 for 54 holes to finish sixth and the Gorloks were one shot behind LeTourneau University, who carded a 54-hole score of 866 to finish in fourth place overall. Berry (Ga.) College won the event by firing a 19-under par 845 for 54 holes, while the University of Dallas was second as they shot a 6-under 858 as a team for 54 holes to finish second.
Prior to Tuesday, the previous lowest single round in school history was an even-par 284 in the third and final round of the 2014 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships held at the par-71 Forest Park Golf Club in St. Louis.
With their score on Tuesday, Webster finishes the 54-hole event with a 3-over par 867 as they carded rounds of 293 and 291 in Monday's opening two rounds. The 54 hole score of 867 is the lowest in program history and bettered the previous all-time low 54 hole record of 874 set at the 2012 SLIAC Championships.
Webster was one of five teams that shot under par in Tuesday's final round as Berry shot a 12-under 276, while Webster fired a 5-under 283 and Dallas carded a 3-under 285. The other two teams that shot under par in the final round were Sewanee and Trinity (Texas), as they each shot 1-under par 287's.
Three of Webster four counters on Tuesday shot under par for the round, including junior Zac Ciesla (Lake Charles, La./Alfred M. Barbe) firing a 5-under 67 to finish the event with a 2-under par 214 for 54 holes to finish in a tie for 10th place. The final round 67 by Ciesla is the lowest round of the season for a Gorlok and is tied for the second lowest round in school history as sophomore Will Hocker (Grapevine, Texas/University of Oklahoma) shot a school record low round of 66 (6-under par) in the second round of the Rhodes Fall Classic on Sept. 18, 2017.
Along with Ciesla, Hocker shot a final round score of 2-under par 70 and senior Will Murphy (Staunton, Ill./Mount Olive) fired a 1-under par 71.
Hocker was Webster's top finisher at the Rhodes Spring Classic as he finished the 54 hole event with a 3-under par score of 213 to finish in a tie for seventh place. Hocker opened the event by shooting rounds of 74 and 69 on Monday and has now shot back-to-back rounds of under par. On Tuesday, Hocker had five birdies, a bogey, a double bogey and 11 pars on his scorecard and finished the event tied for third in birdies with 13 and also had 29 pars, an eagle, 10 bogeys and a double bogey.
Berry's Wesley Heston shot a final round score of 6-under par 66 to jump four spots up the leaderboard and take home individual medalist honors as he fired a 10-under par 206 for 54 holes to win by two shots over his teammate, Preston DeSantis, who shot an 8-under 208 for the tournament, including firing a final round score of 2-under par 70. For the tournament, Heston recorded three of the event's 17 eagles.
Wil Manuel of Maryville, who was the individual leader after Monday's opening two rounds, finished third overall as he shot a 7-under par 209 for 54 holes, including firing a 1-over par 73 in the final round. For the event, 18 golfers shot even par or better, including 14 golfers finishing the event with scores of under par.
In addition to Hocker, Ciesla was Webster's No. 2 counter as he opened the event by shooting rounds of 73 and 74 on Monday, before carding his 67 on Tuesday. In the final round, Ciesla had five birdies, a bogey, an eagle on the par-5 No. 4 hole and 10 pars in his scorecard and finished the event tied for third in pars with 39 and he also had seven birdies, an eagle and six bogeys for the event. Additionally, Ciesla was tied for the tournament lead in par-4 scoring as he averaged 3.97 for the event on the course's par-4 holes.
As a team, Webster led the event with four eagles and was sixth overall in birdies with 39.
Webster's third counter was Murphy as along with his final round 71, he fired rounds of 72 and 77 on Monday to finish the event with a 54 hole of score 4-over par 220 to place in a tie for 30th overall. On the day, Murphy had four birdies, three bogeys and 11 pars on his scorecard and finished the event with seven birdies, an eagle, 12 bogeys and 33 pars.
The final counter on Tuesday for the Gorloks was junior Cole Pickett (Greenville, Ill./Keiser University) who followed up his rounds of 74 and 73 on Monday with a final round score of 3-over par 75 to finish tied for 35th place with a 6-over 222 for 54 holes. On the day, Pickett had two birdies, an eagle on the par-5 No. 14, seven bogeys and eight pars on his scorecard and finished the event with eight birdies, 16 bogeys, an eagle and 29 pars.
Webster's final team competitor was sophomore Mitchell Vetter (Colleyville, Texas/Grapevine) as he shot a final round score of 78 and finished the event with a 54 hole score of 230 to finish in a tie for 55th place. Vetter opened the event by shooting rounds of 77 and 75 respectively on Monday. In the final round, Vetter recorded two birdies, six bogeys, a double bogey and nine pars on his scorecard. He finished the event with four birdies, 14 bogeys, two double bogeys, and 34 pars.
In addition to the five-team competitors, Webster also had four players competing as individuals in the event.
Leading the way for the individuals was freshman Will Lorenz (St. Louis, Mo./Oakville) as he shot a final round score of 78 to finish with a 235 for 54 holes and finish in a tie for 69th place. Lorenz opened the event by shooting rounds of 79 and 78 on Monday. On Tuesday, Lorenz had two birdies, six bogeys, a double bogey, and nine pars and totaled three birdies, 18 bogeys, three double bogeys and 29 pars for the event.
Sophomore Christian Deters (Teutopolis, Ill./Teutopolis) shot a final round score of 83 to finish the event with a score of 240 for 54 holes. Deters posted rounds of 82 and 75 on Monday. In Tuesday's final round, Deters had five bogeys, three double bogeys and 10 pars on his scorecard and finished the event with a total of four birdies, 18 bogeys, five double bogeys, and 27 pars.
Freshman Mike Guthrie (High Ridge, Mo./Northwest) shot an 81 in the final round to finish the event with a 247 for 54 holes and placed in a tie for 86th place. Guthrie opened the tournament with rounds of 81 and 85 on Monday. In the final round, Guthrie had one birdie, six bogeys, two double bogeys and nine pars on his scorecard and tallied a total of three birdies, 20 bogeys, seven double bogeys and 23 pars for the event.
Senior Brian Morris (Shorewood, Wis./Carthage College) shot a 73 in the first round on Monday, but withdrew after that round and did not play in the final two rounds.
Webster will now turn its attention to the postseason as they will next compete in the 2019 SLIAC Championships which are scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday, April 21-22 at Weaver Ridge Golf Club in Peoria, Ill. The Gorloks are the two-time defending SLIAC champions and have won a total of eight all-time SLIAC titles in men's golf.
STORY COURTESY OF WEBSTER UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION