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Tech golf finding new leaders on team

October 6, 2016

Alex Heard

Staff Reporter | amh072@latech.edu

ech’s Felix Palson led the Bulldogs with a final round 70, finishing tied for 19th in the Jim Rivers Collegiate held at Squire Creek on Sept. 20. Photo by Donny Crowe/ Louisiana Tech Atheltic Communications

ech’s Felix Palson led the Bulldogs with a final round 70, finishing tied for 19th in the Jim Rivers Collegiate held at Squire Creek on Sept. 20. Photo by Donny Crowe/ Louisiana Tech Atheltic Communications.

 

The Louisiana Tech golf team has giant shoes to fill.

 

Victor Lange, a first team All-Louisiana and NCAA Regional participant, graduated following last season.

 

Now Head Coach Jeff Jenkins and the Tech golf team must find some way to replace the Conference USA Player of the Year’s tremendous production.

 

Jenkins said there is one upperclassman he expects to do have a great year and help lead the way.

 

“Luke Neely is a huge piece in what we are trying to do this season,” Jenkins said. “He brings a lot of experience.”

 

Neely, a redshirt junior who is entering his second year at Tech, said he is embracing his role and is prepared to lead this season.

 

“I feel like it is my responsibility to lead,” Neely said. “Jacob (Wyatt) and I are the only two left from last year’s conference team. I learned a lot from the guys last season and I know I need to lead by example.”

 

Neely played well in both of the team’s tournaments this fall. After a tough start at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate Tournament, Neely shot an even-par 72 in the final round that included five birdies. At the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate Tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Neely shot a final round two-over-par 74.

 

Two freshmen played well in those tournaments also. Felix Palson led the way in the first tournament, shooting a two-under-par 70, while Joacim Ahlund was not quite as sharp but tied for 29th with a 221. In Albuquerque, Palson led once more, shooting a three-round total of six-over-par to finish tied for 22nd.

 

Jenkins said the two are going to be huge contributors this season despite their youth.

 

“I expect Felix and Joacim to have a lot of action this year,” Jenkins said. “They both played on the Swedish national team, so I am not at all shocked by their play so far. They gained great experience traveling with the Swedes. They will be big contributors.”

 

Jenkins said he does not see the two struggling in golf this season, even though they have limited collegiate experience, but instead sees growing accustomed to life in America as their only struggle.

 

“Being seven time zones away from home is the biggest problem those two will face,” Jenkins said. “In terms of golf they will be fine.”

 

Tech plays Saturday at the David Toms Intercollegiate Tournament in Baton Rouge.

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