TAMPA, Fla. -
Fifth-year senior Jordan Dempsey registered his fourth straight top-five finish -- a tie for third (75-71-70--216, E) -- as the Ole Miss men's golf team placed sixth at the 15-team Gary Koch/Cleveland Golf Intercollegiate Tuesday afternoon.
The Rebels fired a 302-290-296--888 to knock off a trio of Southeastern Conference foes, including Arkansas (7th, 307-288-294--889), No. 8 Florida (8th, 310-292-291--893) and LSU (12th, 304-306-294--904).
"It's always good to finish ahead of conference opponents and nationally-ranked teams," Ole Miss head coach Ernest Ross said. "Jordan continues to play fantastic golf, but the rest of this team has been rather inconsistent over the past few tournaments. Each round we've had someone in the 80s and we need to avoid that. We need our No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 golfers to step up on a regular basis. Jordan has proved that he's one of the best in our league, but, like I've said all along, it's going to take more than one great performance for us to do well as a team. We have over a week until our next tournament, which will be a great opportunity to have some quality practices back in Oxford."
Dempsey, the reigning Southeastern Conference Men's Golfer of the Week, improved his scores each round to finish at even for the 54-hole affair. The Jacksonville, Fla., native continues to lead the league with nine rounds at-even-or under par on the season.
"It's been a good fall so far," Dempsey said. "Yesterday's first round was difficult for everyone because of the tough weather conditions, but I really got in a rhythm today. I am playing with a lot of confidence right now. Hopefully, I can pick up some of my teammates because I know we have the potential to challenge for some more tournament titles before the 2004-05 season is over."
Senior Ryan Michals (T-25th, 223) showed significant improved in day two, posting scores of 70 and 71 after opening the tournament with an 82. Senior Jarrod Gardner tied for 28th, registering a 73-71-80--224. Sophomore Chris Rogers turned in a 75-80-78--233, while sophomore Brice Bailey managed a 79-78-77--234 in his first collegiate tournament.
Kentucky (297-280-295--872) won the two-day event by five strokes over No. 18 Georgia State (300-283-294--877). South Carolina (296-286-297--879), Central Florida (293-296-296--885) and Tennessee (304-301-282--887) rounded out the top five.
UK's Mark Blakefield captured medalist honors, carding a 70-69-74--213 (-3). Stefan Wistorf of Central Florida fired a 68-73-74--215 (-1) to finish second individually.
Ole Miss improves its season record to 43-12-2 with the sixth-place effort. The Rebels, who are ranked No. 27 in Golfweek's latest national poll, wrap up their fall campaign Oct. 25-26 at the CCLA Intercollegiate in Baton Rouge, La.
Final Results from the GARY KOCH/CLEVELAND GOLF INTERCOLLEGIATE (Ole Memorial Golf Course in Tampa, Fla.)
Team Standings: 1. Kentucky (297-280-295--872); 2. Georgia State (300-283-294--877); 3. South Carolina (296-286-297--879); 4. Central Florida (293-296-296--885); 5. Tennessee (304-301-282--887); 6. OLE MISS (302-290-296--888); 7. Arkansas (307-288-294--889); 8. Florida (310-292-291--893); 9. North Florida (302-302-293--897); 10. South Florida (313-289-296--898); 11. Toledo (307-299-297--903); 12. LSU (304-306-294--904); 13. Florida State (313-295-297--905); 14. Ohio State (309-300-302--911); 15. College of Charleston (308-318-290--916).
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