Nov. 4, 2012
GULF SHORES, Ala. – Rice University golf concludes its fall competition schedule on Nov. 5-6 at the inaugural ASU Fall Beach Classic at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club. The two-day event is hosted by Arkansas State and features a competitive field of 13 teams.
Head coach Justin Emil is excited about the tournament and opportunities it presents for the Owls, who enter the event coming off of back-to-back ninth-place finishes.
“This is a great way to close out the fall season,” Emil noted. “The guys get a shot at a top-20 team in Vanderbilt.”
Jeff Wibawa leads the Rice squad into the event after leading the team in scoring in his last two tournaments, including seventh place at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate a month ago. The junior is atop the team standings with a 73.11 stroke average through nine rounds this fall. In his last outing, Wibawa finished 12th at the Lone Star Invitational with a 73-72-72-218 (+2).
Joe Beck III enters the tournament as Rice’s second-leading scorer at 73.92 strokes per round this season. Beck started the season strong, leading the Owls in the first two tournaments in September. The sophomore is tied for the team’s best round of the season as he carded a pair of 70s en route to 20th place at the Mason Rudolph Championship.
Newcomer James Lee enters this week’s competition looking to continue a fast start to his collegiate career. The freshman from Albuquerque, New Mexico ranks third on the team with 75.11 strokes per round and matched Beck’s team-leading mark with a 70 of his own at the Mason Rudolph Championship in late September. Lee has finished in the team’s top-three in the standings in two of his three tournaments to this point, including a tie for the team lead in his debut at the Sam H. Hall Intercollegiate.
Senior Brock Wilson posted his best showing of the season in his last outing, carding a 77-76-72-225 (+9) to lead Rice to a ninth-place finish at the Lone Star Invite. His final-round 72 was a season best as he ranks fourth for the Owls with a 76.22 stroke average this fall.
Rounding out the Rice team is Landon Michelson, who shares the team lead for rounds played with Beck, at 12. Michelson made his Blue and Gray debut at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate and carded a season-best 71 just 10 days later in the opening round of the Mason Rudolph Championship. The junior ranks fifth on the team with a 76.33 stroke average.
The 13-team field features three members of the Sun Belt Conference, including the host Red Wolves, Arkansas-Little Rock and Troy. Three teams from the Southland Conference are competing, including Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana, and Stephen F. Austin. Two teams from the Ohio Valley Conference are participating, including Murray State and Tennessee-Martin. Rounding out the field with the Owls are Illinois State, New Orleans, Texas-Pan American, and Vanderbilt.