Vicksburg native Yocum helps MUW win conference golf championship

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, May 1, 2024

“The W” got a really big W.

The Mississippi University for Women’s men’s golf team used a dominant final round to win the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship on Tuesday.

It’s the first conference championship for the program, and clinched a spot for the Owls in the NCAA Division III national tournament May 14-17 in Boulder City, Nevada.

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Vicksburg native Luke Yocum was a big factor in the Owls’ SLIAC title run. The Porter’s Chapel Academy graduate earned second-team all-conference honors after tying for 10th place.

Yocum shot 75 in the first round, 73 in the second, and 69 in the third for a total score of 217.

Yocum tied with his teammate Cameron James for 10th place. MUW’s Matt Wilkinson finished in a tie for second with a total of 1-under par 212, and Zach Riley was one shot back in fourth place. Wilkinson and Riley were both named first-team All-SLIAC.

The Owls led in the team standings after the first round, and were in a three-team battle with Webster and Spalding going into Tuesday’s final round.

The Owls’ five team members shot 274 on Tuesday, five strokes better than Webster, to pull ahead and win.
MUW had a 54-hole final score of 858 at the par-71, 6,675-yard Metamora Fields Golf Club course in Metamora, Illinois. It was the second-lowest total ever recorded for three rounds in the SLIAC tourney, as well. Spalding set the record of 854 in 2013.

Webster was second in the team standings with 863 and had the individual conference champ as well. Jan Wdowka finished at 5-under par 208 to beat Wilkinson and Illinois College’s Jarrett James by four strokes.
Spalding finished third in the team standings, at 871.

“I am so proud of these guys,” MUW coach Benji Williams said. “We had our ups and downs the first two rounds, but really played smart and determined golf (Tuesday). We all recognized the importance and significance for our University and athletics program, and are proud to be such an important part of Owls’ history.”