Bulldogs surge on final day of Old Waverly Championships

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WEST POINT, Miss. – Louisiana Tech Golf played its best golf of the season on Tuesday as the Bulldogs set a new school record with a team-low round of 276 to jump six spots and finish in fifth place on the final day at the 2017 Old Waverly Collegiate Championships, hosted by Mississippi State.

After inclement weather forced tee times to be pushed back on Monday, LA Tech struggled early in the tournament and was in 11th place after the first 18 holes, but the Bulldogs fought back on Tuesday by shooting 12-under-par on the day to jump to fifth place in the field with a team total of 276. Overall, LA Tech finished the championship 4-under-par with a score of 572 over two days. The team’s round of 276 on Tuesday broke the previous Louisiana Tech school record of 277 set by the 2008 team.

“I’ve been expecting us to kind of turn the corner at some point,” head coach Jeff Jenkins said. “We were in last place after about nine holes and 14-over through about 11 holes yesterday before playing our last seven or eight 6-under, so the guys fought back and played great on the second nine yesterday. And then today, we shot the low round of the tournament. It has kind of been a bumpy road along the way and the guys have remained patient through the down times, persevered and continued to work hard. It is certainly nice to receive some fruit from our hard labor. To beat an SEC team, a Big 12 team and many others, it was really cool for us as a team.

“It is nice to be trending in the right direction because we want to play our best golf toward the end, so hopefully we can ride this wave of momentum to Hattiesburg next weekend on into conference in three weeks.”

Senior Charles Neel White led the Bulldogs after tying for the fourth-lowest round in Louisiana Tech history by shooting a 6-under-par 66 on Tuesday afternoon. He finished the tournament 5-under-par (73 + 66 = 139) to tie for fourth place individually in a field of over 80 golfers.

“I am tremendously excited about Charles Neel White’s play,” Jenkins said. “He is highly talented and I have been expecting him to have a breakout spring and breakout tournament, so for our team’s sake and for his sake, I am pumped that it happened for him because he is a big time player and our leader on the course and in the locker room. I am very excited about what he brings to the table moving forward into postseason play.”

LA Tech’s three freshmen continued to impress this week as Karsten Green and Joacim Ahlund both finished tied for 17th individually after the duo each shot 2-under on Tuesday to finish 1-under-par (143) for the tournament. Felix Palson also finished the week strong by shooting 2-under-par (70) on Tuesday afternoon for a two-round total of 147.

The Bulldogs will now gear up for the team’s final event of the regular season next week at the Southern Collegiate Match Play on April 15 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Golf, please follow Louisiana Tech Golf on social media at @LATechGolf (Twitter) and /LATechGolf (Facebook) or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

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Associated Press

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