Kellen Not Holding Back At First Tee Classic
Jeff Kellen
Jeff Kellen

March 28, 2011

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Despite his struggles in the first round of the First Tee Collegiate Classic, Jeff Kellen took over for the Redbirds in the second round at the Chenal Country Club, as the senior fired a season-best, five-under-par 67. Kellen's performance catapulted him from 61st place into a tie for 6th, with a one-over-par 145 (78-67) going into the third round.

The Illinois State men's golf team moved up from 15th place into a tie for 11th, after the Redbirds carded a seven-over-par 295 (308-295) in the second round. ISU shares the 11th-place position with Iowa State and Arkansas State.

Junior Eric Meier's performance also helped lift the `Birds, as the junior shot a two-over-par 74 during the second round, moving him into a tie for 43rd place with a seven-over-par 151 (77-74).

"Jeff's bogey-free 67 in the second round was spectacular and much needed, and it was nice to see Eric moving in the right direction," said head coach Ray Kralis. "Our only choice is to face the facts and come back ready to play tomorrow."

Wils Hawn played consistently in day one, as the freshman recorded a four-over-par 76 in both rounds. Hawn finished the day in a tie for 49th with an eight-over-par 152 (76-76).

Sophomore Ricky Hearden dropped to a tie for 67th place after shooting an 11-over-par 155 (77-78) for the day.

Senior Will Cullen was unable to gain momentum in the second round and finished the day in 92nd place with a 24-over-par 168 (82-86).

"We have been consistently inconsistent this season, and our struggles continued today," Kralis said. "It is hard to find positives from round one, and while our score improved in round two, we were a long way from a solid team effort."

Kellen, field-leader from Missouri Jace Long and LA-Lafayette's third-place Chris Weninger were the only student-athletes to fire the days' lowest round score of 67.

Southern Mississippi (295-291) and Missouri (297-289) share first place going into day two, after both schools carded 10-over-par 586's.

Play continues Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Results will follow the conclusion of the third and final round. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.