SMU men’s golf spent last year’s American Athletic Conference championship at home in Dallas, banned from postseason play due to NCAA penalties.
Free of the ban in 2017, SMU returned to the event for the first time in two years. The Mustangs finished it Tuesday with four top-25 finishes at this year’s tournament in Palm Harbor, Florida, led by junior Gray Townsend’s third-place tie. They finished in a tie with Connecticut for sixth place in the team standings.
Making his AAC championship debut, Townsend used a 3-under-par 68 the event’s final day to climb from ninth place to the tie for third. His 68 tied the tournament low round and his three-round total was an even-par 213. He had one previous top-three finish this season, which came in October.
SMU’s other top-25 finishes came from senior Alex Higgs (20), senior Andrew Buchanan (T-23) and freshman Daniel Connolly (T-23). Connolly jumped ten spots in the individual standings on the final day with a 1-over-par 72. SMU’s fifth individual golfer, Jackson Markham, finished tied for 37th.
The Mustangs shot its best round on the final day of the championship, with a 5-over-par 289 team score. The round moved them from seventh to sixth in the team standings. They finished with a three-round total of 32-over-par.
South Florida won the team championship, finishing 15 strokes ahead of second-place Cincinnati and Houston.