The Bradley men’s golf team took fifth place out of 17 teams at SIU Edwardsville’s Derek Dolenc Invitational on Tuesday in Madison, Illinois.
Senior Drake Bushong led the Braves with an even par 213 performance to tie for seventh place. Junior Charles Jahn and senior Michael Mounce followed Bushong closely, both finishing 1-over-par 214. Seniors Dan Lensing (7-over-par 220) and Branden Mounce (12-over-par 225) rounded out the field for Bradley.
The team was edged by UT Martin for fourth place by just one stroke and fell two strokes short of Iowa Western’s third place finish.
SIUE took first place by a whopping 10 strokes over second place Omaha. Bradley’s 859 stroke finish ties the second lowest 54-hole score in team history.
“Coming off a win from the previous week, we weren’t quite as sharp, but we really did some good things after the first round, where we didn’t really play our best,” head coach Jeff Roche said. “We really fought hard [Tuesday], and we had it to 2-under for a while, but some shots slipped away at the end there.”
Bushong’s top 10 finish is his first of the season and 16th of his career, which ties the school record held by Andy Mickelson. The senior’s individual score of 213 was 10 strokes better than his performance at the Crusader Collegiate two weeks ago.
“It is always good to bounce back after an off week,” Bushong said. “I was able to work on some things and get my game back on track. It is a boost in confidence especially going back to a place where I have won.”
“[Bushong] did a lot of hard work this week and really saw some good improvements,” Roche said. “If a few more putts fell for him, he would have shot some pretty low numbers this week.”
The Braves will travel to Des Moines, Iowa for the Zach Johnson Invitational on Monday and Tuesday. They will compete with 11 teams, including four Missouri Valley Conference foes.
“We’ve had some success there in the past,” Roche said. “It’s a good golf course, it suits us, and it’s a good field with a lot of teams that we’ve seen before, so we should be pretty competitive. I see some good things in the guys after finishing fifth.”