TEXARKANA, Ark. — WKU Hilltopper Golf finished sixth at the 2019 Air Force Reserve
Conference USA Men’s Golf Championship on Tuesday, its best finish as a C-USA member
and highest overall since 2014.
The Hilltoppers entered Tuesday’s final round of stroke play in second place in the
team standings, but ultimately finished in sixth at 873 (287-292-294). That score is
WKU’s best in a conference tournament since firing an 857 in the 2008 Sun Belt
WKU’s previous best finish in C-USA Championship action was last year’s ninth-place
result. The Hilltoppers haven’t had a better finish than sixth place since 2008.
WKU finished just two strokes behind fourth-place UAB (871). The top four teams
advance to match play Wednesday to determine the league champion.
In addition to UAB, UTSA (864), Middle Tennessee (868) and Charlotte (869) moved on
to match play.
“We came into this event with a lot of confidence and have been looking forward to
this event for a while now,” WKU head coach Chan Metts said. “We played very well
for almost all of this event, but struggled to close out the second and third
rounds. We gave ourselves a chance coming down the stretch, but came up just short
in the end. We had to play some great golf to do that, but got clipped by some other
WKU redshirt senior Billy Tom Sargent (68-74-75), senior Stuart Easton (70-76-71)
and Tom Bevington (71-73-73) all tied for 10th individually with 217 totals.
The 10th-place finishes and 217 tallies are both the best by a Hilltopper in a
conference tournament since Alex Yost carded a 217 to tie for sixth in the 2010 Sun
Redshirt junior Linus Lo tied for 40th at 226 (82-69-75). WKU opted to use its
substitution for Tuesday’s final round, with freshman Dominic Brettkelly turning in
a 3-over 75 in his first competition of the week.
Rice’s Jake Benson won the individual title with a 5-under 211 total.
After the tragic passing of head coach Phillip Hatchett in June, WKU rallied
together to complete one of the best seasons in more than a decade under first-year
The Hilltoppers finished in the top five in 6 of 10 events this season. They
finished under par as a team in 5 of 10 events after doing so in 3 of 34 tournaments
WKU entered the C-USA Championship with a Golfstat ranking of No. 87 and a No. 3
seed – both the program’s highest in many years.
“These guys have played through so many emotions over the last 10 months, and I
cannot explain how proud of them I am for the heart and determination that they’ve
shown this entire season,” Metts said. “The leadership that Billy Tom and Stuart
have given this team with their captaincy is something I am very proud of, and is
without a doubt a major contributor to our success this season. I am gutted for us
right now, but we will be better because of this in the future.”
WKU also logged 23 individual top-20 performances, including 13 top-10s, six top-5s
and two individual victories by Sargent.
Sargent’s last win at Vanderbilt’s prestigious Mason Rudolph Championship tied the
program record for career victories with five.
The Hilltoppers will learn if any players earn at-large bids to an NCAA Regional
during the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships selection show at 8 p.m. CT
May 1 on the Golf Channel.
2019 Conference USA Championship Final Results
T10. Billy Tom Sargent (68-74-75-217)
T10. Stuart Easton (70-76-71-217)
T10. Tom Bevington (71-73-73-217)
T40. Linus Lo (82-69-75-226)
65. Dominic Brettkelly (75*)
* Brettkelly subbed in for the final round for Dawson McDaniel, who went 78-81-159
over the first two rounds