LAKE CHARLES, LA -- Scott Kelly birdied the final two holes of regulation then fired a par and a birdie in a sudden death playoff to become the sixth Sam Houston State men?s golfer to win the Southland Conference individual medalist championship.
Kelly birdied the par three 17th hole and the par four 18th to shot a final round two-under 70 for a 54-hole total of 216. Sigmunder Masson of McNeese State, who was alone atop the leader board after Tuesday?s second round, was even par 72 Wednesday to also finish with a 215.
The pair each made pars on the first playoff hole but Kelly birdied for the victory on the second hole. Previous Southland Conference individual champions for Sam Houston State have been Jell Bellnap (213 total) in 1990, Dean Choate (215) in 1994, David Bolen and Brandt Keschnick (both 215) in 1999, and Scooter Jefferson (212) in 2004.
Kelly's performance helped lead the Bearkats to a tie for second place in the Southland Conference men?s team competition. Lamar won the title with a 54-hole total of 866.
Sam Houston State and Texas State-San Marcos tied as runners-up, both with 894 totals. The runner-up finish is the best for the Bearkats since 1994 when SHSU last won a Southland title. The coach that year was Ronnie Choate, who retired as men?s golf coach following the championship. Choate, however, returned this spring to take over the coaching job on an interim basis.
Southeastern Louisiana and Texas-San Antonio tied for fourth place in the team standings at 896. Texas-Arlington was sixth, followed by McNeese State, Stephen F. Austin, Central Arkansas, and Nicholls State.
Other Sam Houston State scores and finishes were Fergal Rafferty (225) 17th, Brandon Frankhouser (228) 24th, Scooter Jefferson (230) 32nd, and Stewart Bannatyne (235) 42nd.
The tournament was played on the 7,233-yard, par 72 layout at Gray Plantation Golf Course.