SILVIS, Ill.-- The Wichita State men's golf team lived up to its billing as the pre-championship favorite at the Missouri Valley Conference Golf Championship. The Shockers erased a six-stroke deficit on the final day to dethrone defending Valley Champion Illinois State and win its fourth league title in the last five season. The win also marked the ninth MVC golf crown for WSU, the most of any current Valley school.
WSU carded a 54-hole score of 870 (292-290-288) on the par 72, 6,813-yard, TPC at Deere Run and edged the Redbirds by two strokes over the final 18 holes. Illinois State finished the championship with a three-round total of 872 (282-294-296).
Individually, WSU sophomore Ty Cline won medalist honors for the first time in his collegiate career and joined fellow sophomore teammate Judd Easterling and senior Julien Trudeau on the all-conference team. Cline, who trailed first day leader Kyle Vasel of Illinois State by two strokes entering the final day, recorded a one-under par score of 70 while Vasel holed a 75 and finished tied for fourth on the final leaderboard with a 54-hole total of 215.
Cline's individual medalist win marked the third time in the last four seasons a Shocker golfer has taken home the award. Overall, Cline is the 11th Shocker in school history to win medalist honors and he joins former Shocker Brad Golden (2000) and senior Nick Underwood (2001) as the only conference medalist winners under eighth-year head coach Grier Jones.
Easterling and Trudeau both finished the two-day championship event tied for eighth with a score of 218. Easterling opened the tournament with a 73 and finished with back-to-back rounds of 72, while Trudeau, who lead the conference with the lowest stroke average this season (72.6), posted rounds of 76, 72 and 70.
Junior Jonathan May and senior Jason Novascone also competed for WSU. May recorded his second top 20 of the season, placing in a tied for 17th (73-75-76=224), while Novascone finished tied for 29th (74-83-76=233).
Jones was also honored at The Valley championship. He was named the Coach-of-the-Year for the third time during his career at WSU. Jones was also named Coach-of-the-Year following the 1998 and 2000 seasons.
The Shocker will participate in the NCAA Central Regional May 15-17, in Manhattan, Kan. The regional will be played at Colbert Hills Golf Course. WSU will be vying for one of ten berths into the NCAA Championship, which will be held on May 27-30, at Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla.