Close-knit SMU men's golf team advances to NCAAs

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Close-knit SMU men's golf team advances to NCAAs

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Close-knit SMU men's golf team advances to NCAAs

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Wednesday was a good day for Jason Enloe and his SMU team.

There’s great perspective and compassion on this close-knit team, and when the Mustangs qualified for the NCAA Championship on Wednesday in Athens, Ga., there was great joy.

“They’ve made the journey bearable,” said Enloe of his team after losing his beloved wife Katie to leukemia last summer. “It’s tough, but when they do well and when I see them happy and when I see them have success on a day like today – it makes everything worthwhile.”

LIVE BLOG: NCAA men’s regional action
SCORES:
 Pullman | Stanford | Athens
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SMU finished fourth at the NCAA Athens Regional, shoring up a spot at the NCAA Championship behind a pair of freshmen, Ben Wong (68) and Ollie Osborne (69), leading the way for the Mustangs, who were competing in their first regional since 2015.

“Today I think they really played for one another,” said Enloe.

SMU’s spring season took a hit when sophomore standout Noah Goodwin aggravated his right shoulder while sleeping shortly before the Stanford tournament. He was forced to withdraw, leaving the team to compete with four players. About an hour after the final round, the team noticed that Wong’s score was incorrect on live scoring. Turns out the freshman had signed for a 70 when he shot 71.

That left SMU with only three counting scores, ultimately giving them a loss to the entire field.

“We lost somewhere between 500 to 600 shots that day to the rest of the country,” said Enloe. “That’s why the impact was so large.

Enloe would like to see that rule changed or have subs be allowed in regular-season play so that an unfortunate series of events doesn’t make such a dramatic difference in an overall season.

Goodwin coming back into the lineup for regionals put a pep in the team’s step heading into Athens.

Enloe, a father of two little girls, speaks of his team like they’re family.

“They’ve just been my rock and my happiness,” he said. “I wish Katie could see our success. It would be. … well, she is seeing it. She’s in heaven.”

Georgia won the Athens Regional as the host team.

The NCAA Div. I Men’s Golf Championships will be May 24-29 at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.

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