In the first tournament of the season, the SIU men's golf team finished tied for eighth place out of 16 teams at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate in Zionsville, Indiana this weekend.

The Salukis shot a team score of 910 (+58) to finish 38 strokes off the pace of tournament champion Kentucky (+20). SIU placed ahead of Big Ten Indiana (+62) by four strokes.

"We have a team of fighters who want to battle and are never going to give in," said SIU coach Justin Fetcho. "In round two, we got off to a pretty poor start. We were +16 after six holes and finished +14 on a tough, windy day. We could have thrown in the towel, but we fought back and put ourselves in a position to have a good finish. I was very pleased, very impressed. You can't teach guys being mentally tough."

Sophomore Sam Meek (+14) was the team's top finisher, placing tied for 26th in a field of 88. He tied for the tournament lead in birdies with 14.

"Any time you're leading the field in birdies against these kind of players, you know you're doing some positive things," Fetcho said. "Sam had a good week. Now, he has to keep that same aggression in terms of keeping birdies, but has to minimize damage so he's not getting a double or a triple."

Junior Hunter York (+15) was impressive in his Saluki debut. The John A. Logan College transfer tied for 32nd place. He had eight birdies in three rounds.

"Hunter was a grinder and fought for every last stroke," Fetcho said. "Today, he didn't finish off his round like he wanted to, but on the last hole, he chipped in to save bogey. I'm very excited with what he can do for our program."

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