Men’s Golf Closes Strong to Finish Fourth at Bearcat Invite

CINCINNATI, Ohio – After closing the last hole and a half of the second round, the Illinois State Redbirds fought in a deep field, placing fourth at the 2022 Bearcat Invite, ahead of a pair of high-major schools: Rutgers and Kentucky.

ISU’s 853 was behind only Cincinnati’s 845, UNCG’s 846, and Louisville’s 847. Memphis (860), Ball State (861), Sam Houston (862), Rutgers (863), Kentucky (865), Santa Clara (870), Lamar ( 875), Miami (886), and Xavier (890) rounded out the 13 schools in the field.

The team’s round snapped a stretch of seven consecutive under-par rounds – the Longest such streak to open a season in program history – while Valentin Peugnet’s over-par round was his first of a stellar start to the season.

Leading the way for ISU is a sophomore Alex McCulla, who went under par for the second consecutive round with a two-under 69, closing the three-round tournament with a 207 and was the individual runner-up at the tournament. Starting on the first hole, McCulla had two birdies, two bogeys, and five pars, making the turn at even par before closing with a bogey-free back nine, a nine-hole span that he also put up two birdies to finish with the two-under final round.

Parker Wisdom had a two-over-par 73 third round. Starting on the third hole his first seven holes he played at two strokes over par; however, over his next nine holes he had three birdies, a bogey, and five pars to drop to even par before closing with a double bogey on the par-three second hole to finish with the two-over 73.

Peugnet, who had been at 24 strokes under par through the first seven rounds of the year, fell victim to a four-hole stretch in which he had four bogeys that turned his even-par score to four shots over par. A birdie snapped the streak, as he finished his round with a four-over 76 for the day, and had a two-under aggregate score for the tournament, as he placed in a tie for eighth – his third consecutive top-10 finish to open the year.

Felix van Dijk had a slow start to his final round with a double bogey and a bogey in two of his first three holes, before he chipped away at the over-par score with birdies on his seventh and ninth holes, pushing him to one shot over par. His final nine holes had seven pars and a pair of bogeys to finish with a three-over 74 on the round.

Rounding out the Redbirds in the field was freshman Pietro Pontiggia – playing as a scoring member of a team for the first time in his Collegiate career – who finished five over par with a 76, ending the two days with a three-round 230.

ISU Returns to action on October 10-11 when the team travels to West Lafayette, Indiana, to compete in the Purdue Fall Invitational, Hosted on the Kampen Course on the Purdue campus.

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