A new season is underway for the men's club golf team at Missouri State University-West Plains.
The Grizzlies placed ninth out of 12 teams at the Rend Lake College Fall Preview Invitational Tournament Aug. 27 at the Franklin County Country Club in West Frankfort, Ill., and sophomore J.W. Blevins took home medalist honors after winning a one-hole sudden death playoff for first place.
"I'm very pleased with J.W. and the entire team. The players really rallied behind J.W. in the playoff," Assistant Coach Tom Roe said. "Playing 36 holes in one day is a long day, a long way to walk, but we beat three good schools."
Blevins shot 71 and 74 in the two 18-hole rounds for a total score of 145, which tied him with Andrew Weuthrich of Illinois Central College, East Peoria.
In the sudden death playoff, Blevins shot a birdie on the first hole, while Weuthrich shot par, giving Blevins the win, Roe reported.
Other Grizzlies competing in the event as part of the team included sophomores Taylor Vanzant of Cassville, who shot rounds of 77 and 77 for 154; Josh Hicks of Willow Springs, 89 and 78 for 167; Dustin Blackburn from Houston, 85 and 89 for 174; and Blake Allen of Thayer, 96 and 91 for 187.
Freshman Dalton Lok from Gainesville competed as an individual at the event and shot rounds of 94 and 90 for a total of 184.
John A. Logan College placed first in the tournament with 599 for the two rounds.
The host team was second with 600 and Illinois Central was third with 607.
The Grizzlies had team scores of 322 and 318 for a total of 640.
The lack of rain and high temperatures in recent weeks made the course very difficult, Roe said, explaining the balls did a lot of bouncing and rolling around after they were hit.
On Aug. 29 and 30, the Grizzlies participated in the John A. Logan Fall Invitational at Kokopelli Golf Club in Marion, Ill.
The Grizzlies placed seventh out of eight teams with rounds of 334 and 336 for a total of 670. The host team placed first.
Blevins once again led the team charge with rounds of 77 and 73 for a total of 150, placing him fifth out of 51 players.
Other team members and their scores were Vanzant, 79-88, 167; Blackburn 84-89, 173; and Dalton Lok, 94-102, 196.
Allen played as an individual and posted rounds of 88 and 88 for a total of 172.
"This was the hardest course we will play this year," Roe said. "There were bunkers everywhere, and 10 steps off the fairway there was native grass knee high. On the second day, we played for about an hour and a half in rain then had to face 20 mph winds, but the boys played well. They hung in there. I was proud of them. Overall, it was a good trip."