BIRMINGHAM, ALA. -- The Southern Illinois men's golf team is completing a two-day tournament -- Graeme McDowell Invitational -- today (Tuesday) in Birmingham, Ala.
"We are looking forward to getting out and competing again," said head coach and Eldorado native Justin Fetcho. "We have worked hard on improving our discipline and patience over the last several days to prepare ourselves for any adversity that might come our way this week."
UAB hosted the invite at the Greystone Golf and Country Club, which features a par 72 / 7,293 yard layout. The invite format of 54 holes will be played over the course of two days, with the first two rounds on Monday and the final round on Tuesday.
This will be the team's second tournament of the fall season. SIU is coming off a historic season-opening performance at the Murray State Racer Invitational. As a team, Southern broke its 36-hole team record (556) and tied its 54-hole team record (836). The Salukis shot under-par each round at the par 71 course. Individually, four Saluki golfers placed top-10 out of the 94-man field. Eight of SIU's nine golfers set college-best marks as well.
Fetcho selected Frankie Thomas, Andrew Thornton, Sean Mullan, Birgir Magnusson and Matthis Besard to represent the Salukis in Birmingham. Thomas, Mullan and Thornton golfed to top-10 placements in their first event of the season, while Magnusson and Besard finished close behind at 17th and 26th.
The 19-team field will challenge SIU as it features five teams that competed in NCAA Regional action in 2019. Seven of the 19 teams ended last season ranked top-100 in the golfstat.com rankings.
"With it still being early in the season, we are trying to build momentum and confidence in ourselves," Fetcho said. "I believe we have worked really hard over the last several days to prepare ourselves to go down here and play well and I'm looking forward to seeing us minimize the mistakes and maximize our opportunities."
For the latest updates on the Saluki golf program, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram @SIU_MGolf and on Facebook at Saluki Men's Golf.