Wonder Boys Outduel Reddies for Title

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Arkansas Tech and Henderson State dominated Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference men’s golf with a rivalry that saw them combine to win 12 straight league titles.

Based on what took place at Stone Links Golf Course in North Little Rock on Monday and Tuesday, it looks like that rivalry might be reborn in the first year of the new Great American Conference.

The Wonder Boys posted a 36-hole team score of 13-under par 563 to win the Bison Fall Classic by six strokes over runner-up Henderson State.

The two teams separated themselves from the rest of the nine-team field on day one. Arkansas Tech shot 279 in the opening round, while the Reddies were one stroke back at 280.

Tech pulled away on Tuesday by shooting 284 compared to Henderson State’s 289. The Reddies finished at 7-under 569.

Parker Hale made it a clean sweep for the Wonder Boys by winning the individual championship. The junior from Benton posted rounds of 70 and 69 for a 5-under total of 139. He defeated Henderson State’s Sam Lavelle in a sudden death playoff to claim the title.

Tech’s Jack Garrett was also better than par both days. He finished in a tie for third with scores of 71 and 70 for a 141 total. Garrett’s teammate — Slade Hames (68-73-141) — also earned a share of third place.

Graham Rucker was a stroke back for the Wonder Boys. His 2-under 142 total after rounds of 70 and 72 was good for a share of fifth place.

Jason Purdy (15th, 73-73-146) rounded out Arkansas Tech’s participants in the event.

The tournament victory is the first for new Wonder Boys golf coach Luke Calcatera. He succeeded Dave Falconer, who coached the Arkansas Tech men’s golf program from 1989-2011. Falconer passed away on June 11.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech men’s golf.