Senior Erik Dege fires team-best 76 on final day; junior Homero de Toledo leads UNO with 39th-place finish
McKINNEY, Texas – Senior Erik Dege posted the Privateers’ best individual round of the week with a four-over par 76 and the team shot its best 18-hole score of the event with a 322, but it was not enough.
The University of New Orleans slipped to 10th place on the final day of the 2017 Southland Conference Men’s Golf Championship on Wednesday at the par-72, 7,219-yard Dye Course at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club.
Dege, who carded a 95 on Tuesday, was one of three UNO student-athletes to trim multiple strokes off of their day-two score and his 19-stroke differential was by far the largest of the event. Senior Markus Krieger knocked nine strokes off his Tuesday total with an 80 during the SLC Championship’s final round and sophomore Michael Sotile was two strokes better on Wednesday with an 81. The Privateers completed the three-round championship with a team score of 989 (330-337-322).
“We got off to a much better start today,” first-year UNO head coach Jeff Lorio said. “I was pleased with the energy we showed at the start of the round. Unfortunately, as we made the turn, the wind picked up and we didn’t handle the conditions as well as we should have.
“Throughout the lineup, we threw away too many strokes over the last six holes by not making wise decisions and allowing the course conditions to influence our play. This is a disappointing end to the year, but I’m confident that we will work in the offseason and come out with something to prove next year.”
Junior Homero de Toledo carded UNO’s best overall score of the championship with a 248 (83-80-85) to finish 39th in the overall standings. Dege (79-95-76) and Krieger (81-89-80) were next with identical 250s to finish tied for 41st, and Sotile was next with a 254 (90-83-81) to come in tied for 46th. Junior Petter Salqvist rounded out the Privateer sqauad with a 259 (87-85-87) to finish 49th.
McNeese took home the team title for the second-consecutive year with a 918 (302-306-310), finishing four strokes better than runner-up Stephen F. Austin (313-307-302=922). The highest drama of the day, however, came in the individual race where the Top 10 finishers were separated by just five strokes.
Nicholls’ Albert Badosa-Soler (72-75-78) and Houston Baptist’s Val Almendarez (73-75-77) shared the best score of the week with 225s while Sam Houston State’s William Holcomb (73-79-75) and Stephen F. Austin’s Blake Stock (81-73-73) were two strokes back with 227s.
Bouncing back and forth between holes 17 and 18, the playoff between Badosa-Soler and Almendarez sat deadlocked after five holes before the Nicholls’ standout emerged on the fourth hole played on 18.
McNeese and Badosa-Soler earned the Southland Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals as a team and individual, respectively. The NCAA Regionals are slated to run from May 15-17.
TEAM SCORES: 1. McNeese 302-306-310=918 (+54); 2. Stephen F. Austin 313-307-302=922 (+58); 3. Sam Houston State 307-314-302=923 (+59); 4. Nicholls 309-309-310=928 (+64); 5. Southeastern Louisiana 295-316-319=930 (+66); T6. Central Arkansas 316-312-310=938 (+74), Houston Baptist 314-314-310=938 (+74); 8. Abilene Christian 325-323-310-958 (+94); 9. Incarnate Word 339-339-310=988 (+124); 10. New Orleans 330-337-322=989 (+125).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: T1. Albert Badosa-Soler* (Nicholls) 72-75-78=225 (+9), Val Almendarez (Houston Baptist) 73-75-77=225 (+9); T3. William Holcomb (Sam Houston State) 73-79-75=227 (+11), Blake Stock (Stephen F. Austin) 81-73-73=227 (+11); T5. Louis Tomlinson (Central Arkansas) 74-80-74=228 (+12), Jack Lee (Nicholls) 75-76-77=228 (+12), Blake Elliot (McNeese) 76-71-81=228 (+12).
NEW ORLEANS SCORES: 39. Homero de Toledo 83-80-85=248 (+32); T41. Erik Dege 79-95-76=250 (+34), Markus Krieger 81-89-80=250 (+34); T46. Michael Sotile 90-83-81=254 (+38); 49. Petter Salqvist 87-85-87=259 (+43).
*won individual medalist honors after a six-hold e playoff