Fordyce’s Hulse medals in Sun Belt

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — Fordyce High graduate Lane Hulse defeated Rodolfo Cazaubon of North Texas on the first playoff hole to win the Sun Belt Conference individual men’s golf championship Wednesday.

Hulse, a junior playing for South Alabama, shot an even-par 72 during the final round at The Shoals Fighting Joe Course to make it in the playoff. He then hit a 5-iron to within 16 feet of the pin and sank the ensuing putt on the 18th hole to beat Cazaubon to become the sixth in school history to win medalist honors, according to South Alabama’s sports information department.

Hulse shot a 2-under 214 for the 54-hole tournament after shooting 68 on the first day. He and Cazaubon were the only two among 55 golfers in the tournament to break par.

“This means a ton, this is what you dream of,” Hulse said in a press release. “I have worked 2 ½ years to get a win in college. For it to come at the conference championships makes it really special. “I have to give credit to my putter. Going back to the first round, I got off to a little bit of a shaky start striking the ball, but made some good putts to keep the round going. The last day it comes down to the back nine, and it was tough with the wind blowing — you were missing greens out there today — but I made several five- and six-footers for part that kept me in it.

“For the playoff, we went right back to No. 18; it’s a par-3 and I had just played it in regulation so I knew the number, exactly what club and the line to hit. I hit a really solid shot and was able to put the putt in the dead center of the hole for birdie.”

Hulse made three regulation birdies over the final 18 holes, recording his eighth round of par or better this season.

Hulse led South Alabama to third place in team standings with a 2-over 880. North Texas won the team total with a 7-over 871. Arkansas-Little Rock was fifth with an 894 and Arkansas State was eighth with a 906.