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Sophomore Will McDonald
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Bulldogs Visit Purdue For Boilermaker Invitational

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: April 17, 2014
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The Drake men’s golf team will get one final test before it begins play at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship (April 28-29) as the Bulldogs travel to West Lafayette, Ind., this weekend to compete at the Boilermaker Invitational.

The 54-hole event will be hosted by Purdue at Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex this Saturday (April 19) and Sunday (April 20). Competition begins with shotgun starts at 7:45 a.m. CT each day.

The 15-team field includes:  Drake, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kent State, Louisville, Miami University, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Toledo, UCLA and Wichita State

A LOOK BACK
Sophomore Will McDonald (Tulsa, Okla.) fired a final-round 75 to lead the efforts of the Drake men’s golf squad over the final 18 holes of the Arkansas State Red Wolf Intercollegiate on April 8 in Jonesboro, Ark.

As a team, the Bulldogs posted a 308 total on the tournament’s final day to record a 930 (313-309-308) scorecard.

Redshirt junior Devin Leland (Huxley, Iowa) and junior Dane Worley (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) each finished their respective tournaments with 234 scorecards after posting scores of 81 and 76 over the final 18 holes.

Seniors Matt Ohl (Milford, Iowa) and Connor Steele (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) rounded out Drake’s efforts collecting 237 (83-78-76) and 238 (79-76-83) totals, respectively.

DRAKE RESULTS: Will McDonald (78-79-75=232/T-59th), Dane Worley (82-76-76=234/T-71st), Devin Leland (74-79-81=234/T-71st), Matt Ohl (83-78-76=237/T-83rd) and Connor Steele (79-76-83=238/T-88th).

A YEAR AGO
Dane Worley fired a final round 73 to lead Drake at the Boilermaker Invitational on April 21, 2013 at the Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind.  The Bulldogs finished the tournament with a 54-hole score of 938 (314-316-308).

Worley turned in the Bulldogs’ top finish tying for 49th place, with a 54-hole total of 230 (77-80-73).
Matt Ohl and Will McDonald followed in the standings with 71st- and 75th-place showings on the strength of tournament scores of 236 (80-79-77) and 239 (80-77-82), respectively.

Connor Steele and Devin Leland rounded out Drake’s efforts collecting 242 (86-80-76) and 244 (77-83-84) totals, respectively.

DRAKE RESULTS: Dane Worley (77-80-73=230/T-49th), Matt Ohl (80-79-77=236/T-71st), Will McDonald (80-77-82=239/T-75th), Connor Steele (86-80-76=242/80th) and Devin Leland (77-83-84=244/T-82nd).

BULLDOG NOTES
Will McDonald has closed tournaments out strong this spring collecting the low final-round score for Drake in two of the Bulldogs’ four tournaments.
• McDonald owns the Bulldogs’ low round of the spring, shooting a 69 during the second round of the Desert Shootout on March 21.
• McDonald and Devin Leland are on runs of four and three consecutive rounds, respectively, of firing a 75 or lower for the Bulldogs.
• Drake has carded 29 rounds of 75 or lower through the Bulldogs’ first 13 rounds of the spring campaign. McDonald and Leland own nine and seven of the 29 rounds of 75 or better, respectively.
• McDonald leads Drake with a 75.2 scoring average this spring. He is followed by Leland (75.4), Connor Steele (76.6), Ohl (76.6), Dane Worley (76.5) and freshman Karter Smith (Detroit Lakes, Minn.) (80.0).
• Worley directs the Bulldogs with a team-best 15 rounds of 75 or lower this season. McDonald, Leland, Steele, Ohl, freshman Brady Richardson (Tulsa, Okla.) and Smith have nearly matched him with 11, 10, eight, seven and three rounds, respectively, of 75 or better.
• Leland, McDonald, Ohl, Steele, Worley and Richardson have each posted rounds of 75 or lower for an entire tournament this season. Leland (74-72) accomplished the feat at both the Benbow Invitational (74-72) and Desert Shootout (75-71-72). McDonald (74-72) did so at the Benbow Invitational and the Big Four Championship with scores of 75 against both Iowa and Northern Iowa. Ohl carded 75-71-73 at the Desert Shootout, while Steele did so at the Bill Ross Intercollegiate (73-74-73). Worley turned his effort in at the Ram Master Invitational (74-74-72) and at the ODU/Outerbanks Invitational (71-73-70), while Richardson registered his at the ODU/Outerbanks Invitational (72-73-73).
• Leland and Worley owned the Bulldogs’ low rounds of the fall, each shooting a 70 over the final 18 holes of the ODU/Outerbanks Invitational.
• Worley leads Drake with a 75.8 scoring average this season, followed by Richardson (76.1), Steele (76.5), Leland (76.5), Ohl (77.2), McDonald (77.4) and Smith (79.7).
• As a team, the Bulldogs’ best round came during the second round of the Desert Shootout on March 21 with Drake carding a 282.

EXPERIENCED SQUAD RETURNS FOR DRAKE
The Bulldogs return an experienced squad this season as senior Matt Ohl and redshirt junior Devin Leland played in all 13 events for Drake a year ago. Sophomore Will McDonald and senior Connor Steele appeared in 12 and 11 tournaments, respectively.  After missing most of the fall campaign a year ago, junior Dane Worley played in every event for the Bulldogs in the spring.  Junior Blake Huser (Altoona, Iowa) looks to return to form after missing most of last season due to injury, while Drake eyes strong showings from freshmen Brady Richardson and Karter Smith.

DRAKE HEAD COACH MATT LEWIS
Matt Lewis is in his third season leading the Drake’s men’s golf program after being named head coach on July 26, 2011.

The Bulldogs continued their steady development during Lewis’ second year garnering top-10 finishes in seven tournaments.

Sparked by a third-place finish from redshirt sophomore Devin Leland, the Bulldogs collected a fifth-place showing at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship with a tournament score of 909 (301-308-300), one stroke behind fourth-place Bradley. Sophomore Dane Worley registered a 73 over the final 18 holes to notch a tie for 14th place with a 227 (79-75-73) scorecard, which earned him top-18 flag honors.

A testament to Lewis’ abilities to reenergize the Drake program is the fact that everyone one of the Bulldogs who competed during the spring campaign lowered their scoring averages from the year before.  As a team, Drake also shaved strokes of its team scoring average.

Off the course, the Bulldogs also excelled as Leland and Worley garnered MVC Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete accolades.  Leland pulled in first-team honors, while Worley received honorable mention recognition.

In his first campaign directing the Bulldogs, Drake turned in top-10 finishes in six tournaments and were led by Leland and then freshman Blake Huser, who posted scoring averages of 76.3 and 76.8, respectively.

In a finish where only eight strokes separated the third- to eighth-place finishers, Drake earned a seventh-place showing at the State Farm MVC Championship on the strength of a 910 (303-292-315) score.

Huser tied for 12th at the State Farm MVC Championship, while also earning tournament flags for top-18 finishes were Ben Lyons and Worley, who tied for 18th place.

Lewis, a former first-team All-Big 12 and first-team Academic All-Big 12 performer at Iowa State, was head golf professional at Clinton Country Club in Clinton, Iowa, from 2004-11. As a Cyclone (1997-99) he was coached by former Drake head coach Jamie Bermel.

Lewis began his collegiate career at Minnesota (1994-97) before transferring to Iowa State (1997-99).

A native of Dubuque, Lewis and his wife, Tara, have three children, daughter Avery, and sons Jackson and Bennett.

UP NEXT
The Missouri Valley Conference Championship in Silvis, Ill.,  awaits the Bulldogs April 28-29.

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