The UMSL men's golf team started their season yesterday. The UMSL Tritons are on a quest for the second straight NCAA Championship bid.

For only the seventh time in program history, the University of Missouri–St. Louis men’s golf team concluded last season on the NCAA’s biggest stage – a trip to the 2011 NCAA Championship. The Tritons will began their trek toward another NCAA tournament berth yesterday (Sept. 5) as the fall portion of the schedule began at The Club of Porto Cima in Sunset Beach, Mo., at the Missouri Intercollegiate.

Just three UMSL golfers from last year’s squad return for third-year head coach Troy Halterman, including junior Jason Chun and sophomore Joe Atkisson, both of whom competed in postseason play for the UMSL Tritons, which means the team’s six newcomers will be counted on heavily.

Chun placed 44th nationally last year at the NCAA Championships with a three-round score of 227 (74-77-76), which was second among UMSL’s lineup. On the season, he posted a team fourth-best scoring average of 76.00 and recorded four top 10 finishes, including tying for medalist honors at the University of Illinois Springfield Invite.

Atkisson placed 74th nationally in his first season of intercollegiate play with a 234 (74-8377) and was third on the team with a scoring average of 75.96. He posted five top-15 finishes during the season.

Chris Dowling also returned for his final campaign as the squad’s only senior. As a junior, Dowling posted a scoring average of 76.87 in seven tournaments. He earned medalist honors at the Saints/Tritons Dual and placed 16th at the Great Lakes Regional No. 2.

Halterman welcomes a pair of junior college transfers and four freshmen to his program. Junior John Neis comes to UMSL from Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas, while junior Chase Smith comes from Vincennes University in Indiana.

The freshmen include Jared Cohen (Ozarks, Mo.), Mason Haynes (Elizabethtown, Ky.), Hunter Parrish (Washington, Mo.) and Cullen Pearce (Alexandria, La.).

UMSL will compete in six tournaments during the fall, including the Great Lakes Regional No. 2, Oct. 10-11, which the Tritons will host at Sunset Country Club in Edwardsville, Ill.

The spring portion of the schedule will begin Feb. 27 at the University of New Orleans Mardi Gras Invite. The Tritons also have five other tournaments on the schedule, including the GLVC Championships, April 15-17 in Paducah, Ky.

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Mary Ann Mitchell

Mary Ann Mitchell

Eye on UMSL: Sweet ride

Triton Leaders Allison Lendman, Ashley Schauwecker and Cole McWilliams take a seat in the newly wrapped, UMSL-branded red golf cart outside the Millennium Student Center.