Oct. 2, 2012
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (SMU) - SMU posted the second-lowest team score of the day during the final round at the Fighting Illini/Olympia Fields Invitational hosted by the University of Illinois. The Mustangs finished ninth for the event.
Freshman Bryson Dechambeau led the way on the final day for SMU, finishing at even par, good for the seventh-lowest individual score of Tuesday. Both Dechambeau and Clemens placed as SMU's top finishers, tying for 28th.
"To have the second-lowest round of the day is encouraging," Head Coach Josh Gregory said. "The overall finish doesn't look great, but we were only a few shots away from a top-five finish even with a poor first round."
SMU was in 11th place after day one, but improved by 10 strokes in round two to move up to ninth. Ryan Burgess struggled in round one, but shot a 2-under 68 in round two to improve his positioning mightily.
Gregory believes his team grew and gained valuable experience at Olympia Fields. Some of the top teams in the country participated, including 10 squads in the top-50 of the GolfStat computer rankings. SMU entered the event as No. 2 in the nation in GolfStat's rankings.
"This was an elite field on a major championship venue," Gregory said. "This will serve us well down the road. Our young team is learning to compete on hard courses against the best teams in the nation. We will be a very good team soon."
The Mustangs will head to Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C., on Oct. 8 for the Payne Stewart Match Play against Wake Forest. Payne Stewart, who was the 1989 PGA Tour Champion, a two-time U.S. Open Champion, and a member of five Ryder Cup teams, played at SMU from 1975-79. Stewart was posthumously entered into the SMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
T28 - Bryson Dechambeau 75-76-70=221 (+11)
T28 - Mario Clemens 74-73-74=221 (+11)
T32 - Austin Smotherman 75-74-74=223 (+13)
T39 - Harry Higgs 75-74-76=225 (+15)
T43 - Ryan Burgess 85-68-73=226 (+16)