Texarkana golf fans who didn’t brave a light rain missed some spectacular golf Wednesday during the 2019 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Men’s Championships at Texarkana Country Club.
Middle Tennessee State University became the first league member to defend its title in nine years by the narrowest of margins. Cooper Sears’ par on the 24th hole of his match with Michael Rome of the University of Texas-San Antonio, was the difference. Sears gave MTSU a 3-2 edge in the match play final.
Middle Tennessee will once again await its postseason fate when the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Selection Show airs 8 p.m. CT Wednesday, May 1 on the Golf Channel.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, the Blue Raiders’ No. 1 player Marcus Byrd fired a 6-under-par 66, but got beat 1-up after Byrd and UTSA’s Sean Meehan both birdied the par-4 18th hole. Meehan posted the third best round in the finals with a 67.
Roadrunners’ Fanfelle had low round
UTSA’s Christian Fanfelle was challenging the course record of 62 when he closed out the Raiders’ Palmer Sadlowski at 15 with a birdie for a 4-3 decision. Fanfelle was 7-under when the match ended.
Despite the outstanding play of the Roadrunners’ two best players, Middle Tennessee prevailed behind the play on its No. 3, 4 and 5 players. The Raiders’ James Beckner defeated Collin Clark, 2-1. Tanner Owens disappointed UTSA’s Chad Sewell, 3-1.
The Roadrunners had entered the tournament as the third seed, and led after the 54 holes of stroke play. UTSA eliminated the University of Alabama-Birmingham in the semifinals. Meehan birdied his final three holes to win the decisive match to get the Roadrunners in the championship match. Meehan had 11 birdies in Wednesday’s two matches.
Meehan’s performance wasn’t even the best of the day. Byrd, who looked a little like Tiger Woods from a distance, played like Woods with two eagles and 11 birdies for MTSU.