Junior Joe Atkisson (pictured), of the University of Missouri–St. Louis men’s golf team, claimed medalist honors at the 2013 GLVC Championship on Tuesday, winning a playoff hole against Rockhurst University’s (Kansas City, Mo.) Tanner Buleski at the Otter Creek Country Club in Columbus, Ind.
Atkisson is the first player in program history to be named individual GLVC champion. He birdied the first playoff hole to earn the honor.
In the playoff, Atkisson opened by striping a drive off the 528-yard, par-5 first hole, while Bulejski blocked his drive right of the cart path, forcing a punch out to the fairway where the ball came to rest approximately 220 yards from the hole. Noting after the playoff that he could not resist the temptation to go for the green in two based on where he lay, Atkisson made the attempt for the first time this week and scorched a 235-yard fairway metal right in line with the flagstick, coming to rest in the back fringe, some 20 feet away. Bulejski needed five shots to get to the putting surface, but after a chip that nestled five feet away from the pin, Atkisson dropped in the birdie putt to secure the title.
Atkisson, an international business major, shot a 54-hole school record 214 en route to the title, firing rounds of 70, 73 and 71. He is the second player in program history to earn conference medalist honors as UMSL Sports Hall of Famer David Rhoads won the 1993 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association individual title.
Atkisson’s play helped the UMSL Tritons to a field-best team score of 877 (293-292-292). That score also set a new school mark for 54 holes of competition.
The Tritons were seeking their first-ever GLVC Championship, but lost to Lewis University (Romeoville, Ill.) in the semifinals. UMSL won MIAA team championships in 1992 and 1993.
Senior Chase Smith, who sat atop the leader board after the first two rounds, tied for third place and earned All-GLVC honors. Smith carded rounds of 71, 69 and 77 to finish with a score of 217.