March 30, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Lamar University will face one of the strongest fields in college golf this season when the Cardinals open play in the 34th Annual Insperity Augusta State Invitational this weekend.
The 54-hole event will open with the first two rounds Saturday on the par-72, 7,029-yard Forest Hills Golf Club. Sunday's final round will begin at 8:30 a.m.
The 16-team field will feature the top ranked team in the nation in Texas, as well as eight other teams ranked in the top 50 of Golfstat's latest rankings. No. 13 Clemson, No. 22 Oklahoma State, No. 27 Baylor, No. 35 TCU, No. 38 Illinois, No. 40 SMU and No. 50 Lamar will join two-time defending national champion Augusta State (No. 46).
Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Houston, South Carolina, Tennessee, USC Aiken and Virginia Tech round out the talented field. Nine of the top 50 ranked individuals will also be in the field this weekend.
Oklahoma State won last year's tournament with a 16-under-par total of 848, one stroke better than Tennessee. Lamar tied Georgia Southern for 12th at last year's event.
OSU's Kevin Tway took home individual medalist honors at 12-under-par in 2011. M.J. Daffue was Lamar's top individual finisher after carding rounds of 70-70-74=214 for a 2-under-par total and a ninth place finish.
Daffue is coming off his fourth career victory after winning the Border Olympics on March 17. The senior from South Africa is currently second on the team in scoring average at 73.7 strokes per round.
Fellow senior Kevin Hesbois leads the Cardinals with a scoring average of 73.3. Hesbois tied for 36th at last year's ASU Invitational at 5-over-par, including an even-par score of 72 in the opening round.
Also playing for the Cardinals will be senior Xavier Feyaerts, sophomore transfer Stephane Dubois and freshman Luke Jerling. Feyaerts is sporting a 74.3 scoring average and tied for 45th at Augusta State last year at 7-over-par. Feyaerts tied for ninth as a freshman after shooting two straight rounds in the 60s.
Jerling has played in eight tournaments this year and has a 74.7 strokes per round average, while Dubois has averaged 76.4 in three spring tournaments since transferring from Wisconsin.