Lyons’ record-setting day paces ISU to second place

Emily Arthur

Led by individual medalist Jeremy Lyons, the ISU men’s golf team took second place in the Branson Creek Invitational in Hollister, Mo. Tuesday.

Iowa State shot a three-round total of 868 (283-280-305) and finished just two strokes behind the eventual winner, Nebraska.

Despite the high team finish, the highlight was Lyons’ first individual title of his career. The sophomore shot a 54-hole total of 211 (69-66-76), placing him third on Iowa State’s all-time low-tournament list. His second-round total of 66 was also an all-time ISU single-round best.

“It feels good. I knew it was just a matter of time,” said Lyons of the record breaking performance. “I knew I’d do it sometime before I graduated.”

ISU head coach Jay Horton said Lyons’ finish may be just what the Glenwood City, Wis. native needed.

“He’s definitely capable of shooting those scores… To be able to put up those numbers and be in the position he was is a big step,” he said. “He’s always been capable of playing how he did, but his performance might have given him the extra edge to take that next step.”

Lyons’ win may have overshadowed the team’s performance, but Horton was happy with it just the same.

“Going down there, if you would have told me that we’d come back with a second place finish and an individual winner, I would have taken it,” he said.

The Cyclones led by seven strokes after 36 holes, but were unable to hold on to the lead.

“The first two rounds we played exceptional, but we didn’t really play well the last round,” Lyons said. “We’ve never really been in the position where we’ve been leading at a big tournament. I think the nerves kicked in.”

Horton said the team is relatively inexperienced when it comes to being in a position to win, which may have played a part in the last-round drop-off.

“You have to be in that position more than once before you know how you’ll react,” he said.

Also turning in a solid performance for the Cyclones was senior Greg Stephanson, who finished in ninth place with a total of 216 (71-72-73). Kevin Oswald tied for 11th with a 220 (71-71-78), while teammate Corey Schultz shot a 221 (72-71-78) to tie for 21st.

Rounding out the ISU scoring was Chad Kovaleski, who tied for 58th with a 234 (77-79-78). Clark Smith competed as an individual and finished in a tie for 38th with a 226 (74-76-76).

Iowa State will be back in action April 20 at the First Energy Invite in Akron, Ohio.