Freshmen roar for Lions at Southland
A pair of freshmen helped Southeastern Louisiana to its first Southland Conference Championship title in a decade Wednesday on its home course at Carter Plantation in Springfield, La.
Philipp Westermann shot a final-round-best 4-under 68 and Alvaro Arizabaleta shot 69 to lead 45th-ranked Southeastern Louisiana to an 11-shot victory over Central Arkansas, 24 shots ahead of third-place Sam Houston State.
(Central Arkansas was ineligible to win the title due its transition from Division II.)
It was the Lions’ third conference crown and first since 2000.
“We played great this week,” head coach Tim Baldwin said. “Sometimes there’s some pressure when you host something. The weather was tough - it was beautiful temperature-wise - but the wind was up this week, and that affected the scores.”
Arizabaleta, of Colombia, shot rounds of 72-67-69 for an 8-under 208 total to finish as the only individual under par, eight shots better than anyone else.
“Alvaro played fantastic this week,” Baldwin said. “We were able to put the last two rounds together with a 285 and a 283. We just played great golf this week. We’ve won four times this year as a team, and we’ve had three different individuals lead us.”
Westermann, of Germany, No. 36 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, finished tied for fourth (217), nine back of his teammate, after struggling to a 77 in Round 1. Cedric Scotto (76-220), of France, tied for seventh.
Southeastern Louisiana’s roster features all international players.
– Information from Southeastern Louisiana was used in this report