SIU men's golf squad has some long-range plans this year
The Southern Illinois University men’s golf team has a long road ahead of it, and coach Justin Fetcho wants to make it longer.
The Salukis will face off against a number of top-ranked teams across the country, and Fetcho said he hopes the squad will do well enough to qualify for the regional tournament.
“Out of our 10 regular-season events, we are traveling to eight different states, including tournaments on the west coast, east coast and the Midwest," Fetcho said in a press release. "When it comes time for the NCAA Regionals, you could be shipped anywhere in the country, so we want to prepare ourselves for any situation, as our goal is the NCAA postseason."
The Salukis will take part in four tournaments this fall, starting at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate Tournament in early September. In mid-September, SIU will take part in the Iowa Golfweek Conference Challenge, then play in the LSU David Toms Intercollegiate Tournament in early October before wrapping up at the Kennesaw State Pinetree Intercollegiate Tournament at the end of October.
Following the Kennesaw tournament, the Salukis will shut things down until the spring, when the team will participate in six tournaments. SIU will kick off the spring season at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate Tournament on Feb. 16, then head south for the Florida State Seminole Intercollegiate Tournament on Feb. 24.
The Salukis will return to Florida for the South Florida Invitational in March, then take part in the William and Mary Kingsmill Intercollegiate Tournament at the end of March. The team will play its final two tournaments of the regular season in April, first in the Arkansas State Red Wolves Intercollegiate Tournament and then in the Purdue Boilermaker Invitational.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, SIU will host the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
“This will be a great way for our fans and supporters to get out and cheer us on as we usually don't have an opportunity to host an event," Fetcho said in the press release.
The Salukis hope sophomore Luke Gannon will have another strong year after he finished in 11th place at the Murray State Invitational last year. He recorded a round of 68 on the second day of the tournament.
SIU will also look to Sam Meek to lead the team. As a freshman last year, Meek recorded his highest finish, 23rd, at the Purdue Boilermaker Invitational and was named MVC Golfer of the week.
The Salukis are aiming to qualify for the NCAA Regional Tournament from May 14-16 and the NCAA Championships from May 25-30.