Blose was a surprise in tourney

Monday, May 6, 2002

Jimmy Blose had few expectations entering last week's Ohio Valley Conference Golf Tournament.

"I figured it was just a learning experience for me," he said.

But Blose ended up getting more than he bargained for, finishing second during the event in Paducah, Ky.

Blose, a Southeast Missouri State University junior, shot a 3-over-par 219 over 54 holes at the Country Club of Paducah, winding up three strokes out of first.

"I didn't really expect a lot, but I knew I was capable of something like that. It was a good feeling," Blose said. "I really thought I shot myself in the foot after the first round when I had a 76. Then I had a 71 the second day, my lowest score in college, so that got my fired up."

Blose, who has played just one season at Southeast, took an indirect route to Cape Girardeau.

After graduating from Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Mo., he attended Mississippi State for three semesters, where he was enrolled in the school's PGA program for prospective teaching professionals but did not compete on the golf team.

"I tried walking on, but they're really good," he said.

After Mississippi State got a bit expensive, Blose transferred to Missouri Baptist College in St. Louis, where he joined the golf team and participated in one tournament before a knee injury suffered playing pickup basketball kept him out the rest of the season.

Blose then set his sights on playing golf at the Division I level and transferred to Southeast last year. But because he participated in that one tournament at Missouri Baptist, he was ineligible to compete for the Indians for one season under NCAA transfer rules.

Finally, Blose became eligible at Southeast this school year. Although he struggled during the fall season, Indians' coach Carroll Williams was confident Blose would eventually be a solid player.

"I was pretty convinced he could play for us," Williams said.

Said Blose, "I really didn't play up to expectations in the fall. But the last few tournaments this spring were kind of a breakthrough for me. I didn't do anything different, I just started playing a lot better. Golf is weird that way."

Now that Blose has broken through with one of the better performances ever by a Southeast golfer in the OVC Tournament -- Caine Fitzgerald won the school's only conference title in 1994 while a couple other players have been second -- he's already fired up for his final season next year.

"This has really got me pumped," he said. "I'm really looking forward to next year."

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