CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL | FINAL LEADERBOARD | PHOTO GALLERYMcKINNEY, Texas – For the third time in five years, Sam Houston State is the Southland Conference Men’s Golf Champion. The Bearkats relied on their play on the par threes and par fours to earn their first Southland title since 2015. They averaged 3.25 on the par threes and 4.33 on the fours. They sunk the most pars for the field, carding 160 for the tournament, and the second-most birdies at 37 for the tournament. They also tacked on two eagles. The Bearkats claimed the 2018 title at the Stonebridge Ranch Country Club (Dye Course) in McKinney, Texas, on Wednesday in a close late battle with McNeese. The Cowboys came within two strokes of catching Sam Houston on the last day backed by Sutton Farmer’s three-over day, but they fell just short of winning its third consecutive championship. Sam Houston’s Jake McCrory scored one-under for the par threes on the tournament to lead the individual field. Rivas averaged 4.03 on the par fours, and Elliot finished the par fives at seven-under. It was a windy and rainy day for the final round of the tournament. After shooting an even-par in the second round, Sam Houston carded 22-over in the championship round. It was enough to hold back a Cowboys’ squad who ended just five strokes back. Central Arkansas’ Lewis George had the most consistent tournament, and it paid off with the junior from Cheshire, England, winning the individual medalist and an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship. He scored an even par this week, beating out McNeese’s Blake Elliot by one stroke. Sam Houston will find out its 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship destination during the selection show next Wednesday, May 2 at 5 p.m. CT on the Golf Channel. Levi Valdez and Austen Christiansen were the top scorers for Sam Houston. Valdez placed third with McNeese’s Ian Berrigan at six-over. Christiansen tied for fifth with Stephen F. Austin’s Angelo Valdez and Central Arkansas’ Rodrigo Rivas at seven-over par. Rivas was the only one to card below-par today.