Wonder Boys Win Dave Falconer Classic

Arkansas Tech University outraced the rain and a 21-team field to win the fifth annual Dave Falconer Classic men’s golf tournament at Chamberlyne Country Club in Danville on Tuesday.

The Wonder Boys returned a team score of 288 in Monday’s first round and sat in third place, three strokes behind front-running Henderson State University, entering the final round.

Arkansas Tech easily overcame that deficit with a tournament-best team score of 283 on Tuesday for a two-day total of 571 and an eight-stroke victory. Three Wonder Boys shot under par in the final round as Arkansas Tech won the Dave Falconer Classic for the first time.

The tournament is named in honor of the former men’s golf coach at Arkansas Tech. Falconer served in that capacity from 1989 until the time of his passing on June 11, 2011.

It was appropriate that one of the teams the Wonder Boys had to surpass on Tuesday was Henderson State. The Reddies were Arkansas Tech’s chief golf rival in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference during Falconer’s early years as Wonder Boys’ head coach.

“Our guys knew this was the first year we had an opportunity to win this tournament,” said Luke Calcatera, who played for Falconer at Arkansas Tech from 2003-07 and succeeded him as head coach in 2011. “It means a lot. We host this tournament for him (Falconer). I made sure when it was over that our guys understood this was a big deal, especially against such a quality field of 21 teams. They earned every bit of it. I know Coach Falconer’s smiling on us today.”

Austin Smith was Tech’s top individual finisher. The Russellville product shot 71-69 for a 4-under par total of 140 and sole possession of second place.

Bryce Burke (T-7th, 69-74-143), Jordan Hawkes (T-7th, 74-69-143), Dylan Lovell (T-31st, 77-71-148) and Julio Arguelles (T-34th, 74-75-149) also contributed to the Wonder Boys’ victory.

The individual title went to Missouri Southern State University’s Taylor Lansford. He posted rounds of 71-67 for a 6-under total of 138.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University (2nd, 579), Washburn University (T-3rd, 581), Henderson State (T-3rd, 581), Trevecca Nazarene University (5th, 585), Missouri Southern (6th, 587), Lewis University (7th, 590), Southern Nazarene University (8th, 593), Southwestern Oklahoma State University (9th, 595), Northeastern State University (10th, 597), Grand Valley State University (11th, 599), McKendree University (12th, 600), the University of Arkansas-Monticello (T-13th, 601), Harding University (T-13th, 601) Rockhurst University (15th, 606), Oklahoma Baptist University (16th, 612), Missouri Western State University (T-17th, 614), Southern Arkansas University (T-17th, 614), South Dakota School of Mines (19th, 628), Northwestern Oklahoma State University (20th, 640) and St. Joseph’s College (21st, 657) rounded out the field in the team standings.

Arkansas Tech will compete in the Argonaut Invitational in Pensacola, Fla., April 3-5.