The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly men's club golf team finished the John A. Logan College Fall Invitational Aug. 31, in eighth place, thanks in large part to the spectacular showing of freshman J.W. Blevins from Salem.
Blevins finished fourth overall at the two-day event in Marion, Ill.
"J.W. had a fantastic outing," Head Coach Phil Wade said. "The 7,300-yard Kokopelli Golf Club in Marion is an extremely difficult course. The best score of the tournament was a round of 70. But J.W. exercised extreme patience and discipline throughout the tournament, and in windy conditions. The three who finished in front of him were all sophomores from the defending national champion and tournament host, John A. Logan College. To place fourth, that was remarkable. It gives us a great idea of what we can expect from him as a collegiate player."
Blevins shot rounds of 76 and 74 in the two-day event to pace the Grizzlies to their eighth place finish out of 14 teams.
Other Grizzlies competing included freshman Taylor Vanzandt, who shot rounds of 74 and 90; freshman Josh Hicks, who shot rounds of 87 and 84; freshman Blake Allen from Thayer, who shot rounds of 90 and 85; and freshman Dustin Blackburn, who shot rounds of 94 and 87.
As a team, the Grizzlies had a total score of 327-331 for 658.
John A. Logan, who won the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II title last year, finished the event in first place with a total score of 292-302 for 594.
Second place went to Parkland College of Champaign, Ill., with a total score of 308-312 for 620.
Wade said the course provided a revealing test for the Grizzlies.
"This course was a long, difficult test for our players, but it gave them a good idea of what college golf will be like," he explained. "These are the kinds of courses they will be facing, and they're the kinds of courses our golfers are not used to in this part of the country. This past weekend showed our players they will need to develop the same patience and discipline J.W. exhibited to be successful at the collegiate level. We now know the areas we need to improve on."
The Grizzlies will take the next several days to prepare for the William Jewell Invitational Sept. 13-15 in Liberty, Mo.
For more information about the Grizzly club golf team, visit the team's Web site at http://www.wp.missouristate.edu/ClubGolf....