Freshman golfer enters history books at tournament


Sports Reporter

Tyler Saunders, accounting freshman, is in the second semester of his university golf career.

He has already added a tournament title to his resume.

“I think this is the start of something big for him in his college career,” Coach Shane Howell said.

Saunders finished as the co-medalist of the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate. The win was the first of his career.

“It meant a lot,” Saunders said. “I felt like I’ve been working pretty hard but haven’t quite been getting the results I’ve wanted, so it’s nice to have that reward for how hard I feel like I’ve been trying to improve.”

Saunders’ win is the first by a Bobcat since Stuart Smallwood won the Sun Belt Conference individual championship in Alabama last season.

The weather at the tournament was cold with heavy winds and rain. Saunders used the weather to his advantage. He finished the first round in fifth place with an even par of 72.

Saunders improved in the second round, tallying a 6-under-par 66, a new career low.

“The 66 was one of the better rounds that I’ve witnessed in my coaching career,” Howell said. 

Saunders ended Monday with a three-stroke lead and 13 birdies. 

Texas State men’s golf improved from its first round by nine strokes, placing the Bobcats in eighth behind Middle Tennessee State.

Saunders tallied the second-best score Tuesday for the team, following a 1-under-par 71 from Torbjorn Johansen, senior. Saunders’ three-round score was 211, putting him inside the top10 in Texas State history for lowest 54-hole score.

“All credit to him,” Howell said. “He’s been working hard. He hasn’ had the puts to fall yet this year, and this week he got them to fall.”

Saunders’ 5-under-par ranks as the fifth-lowest score in school history. He birdied two of his final three holes on the last nine.

“It’s really difficult for him to win a college golf tournament,” Howell said. “For him to be able to do it in such an early stage of his career is huge. I think this is the first of many for him.”

Texas State finished in seventh place. The team’s next event is the Louisiana Classic in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 2.

Follow Kierra Lewis on Twitter @Kierra_Arnae.