This week's Missouri Valley Conference golfers of the week are Ben Murphy of Illinois State, Stacey Miller of Illinois State, and Bari Erais of Bradley. Each carded a top-5 finish in their respective tournaments this week.
Bari Erais of Bradley and Stacey Miller of Illinois State tied for fifth at the Duramed Collegiate Invitational at Rio Verde, posting her team-best fourth top 10 finish of the season. In just her second tournament of the spring, Erais carded rounds of 77, 72 and 74 to finish in a tie for fifth place in the 102-person field at the par-71 Quail Run Golf Course. Her second-round 72 tied for the low-round among 20 MVC-competitors in the field. Erais pushed her school career record of top 10 finishes to 20 and now has 70 career rounds in the 70's or better. Miller led the Illinois State women's golf team to a 54-hole team score of 927 (311-304-312) and a two-way tie for 10th place. She fired a 10-over-par 223 (76-72-75) in three rounds to finish the tournament in a four-way tie for fifth place on the Quail Run Golf Course. The Redbirds shared 10th place with Kansas State.
Four Valley teams were at the Duramed Collegiate Invitational, including Bradley, Illinois State, Missouri Sate, and Southern Illinois. SIU jumped three spots on the third day of competition to grab the 13th spot, finishing ahead of MVC rival Bradley. Kate Laegeler led the Salukis with a 226 (76-74-76) to tie for 15th out of 101. Laegeler's 74 on day two marked a career low for the senior. Freshman Catherine Dolan of Missouri State recorded her third top-10 finish of her collegiate career with a ninth place finish. She posted rounds of 79-72-73 to finish with a three-day total of 224.
The Wichita State women's golf team finished tied for 11th at the Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate, which concluded Tuesday at the Victoria Country Club in Victoria, Texas. Krista Hrdlicka finished tied for 28th to lead the Shockers. Hrdlicka fired a three-round score of 239 to finish atop the Shocker scorecard.
Senior Ben Murphy claimed a share of third place after firing a 5-under-par 211 (73-66-72) in the Samford Intercollegiate at Limestone Springs Golf CourseTuesday, leading the Illinois State men's golf team to a fourth-place finish. This marks the Redbirds fifth-straight top-five finish and still remain unbeaten against Missouri Valley Conference teams with a 13-0-1 mark. The Redbirds shot 883 (296-282-305), clipping MVC foes Southern Illinois (892) and Evansville (936). Murphy's third-place finish marks his first of the season and second of his career.
Evansville freshman Neal Millay put together three sub-80 rounds to end up as the team leader, finishing 41st. The 54-hole tournament took place at the 6,600-yard, par 72 Limestone Springs Golf Course. Millay shot 77 Tuesday following rounds of 78 and 75 on Monday to finish at 14-over-par 230.
The Saluki men's golf team turned in the fourth-best final round score of 298 to leap into a tie for fifth place at the 14-team Samford Intercollegiate on Tuesday. Individually SIU had three of its five players finish in the top-20 and four when considering junior Blake Driskell who competed as an individual. Junior Patrick Scheil turned in a final-round 2-over-par 74 to finish a career-best 13th with a 54-hole total of 220.
Freshman Jordan McLaurin led the Missouri State men’s golf team for the fourth time in the 2008-09 season at the Ron Smith South Florida Invitational in Dade City, Florida. He recorded his second career top-10 finish, placing tied for seventh in a field of 120 golfers. His three-day total of two-under-par, 214, is his career best 54-hole total. He fired rounds of 67-78-69 on the par 72, 7,153-yard Lake Jovita Golf Club. McLaurin’s first round five-under-par score of 67 was a career low 18-hole score.