WOOD RIVER, Ill. -- Blake Bender carded a team-best 76 in the final round to place fourth and lead the Simpson men's golf team to a second-place finish at the Blackburn Invitational from Lockhaven Golf Course.
Simpson shot 648 in the two-round tournament to open the spring season, turning in a 326 Saturday and closing with a 322 Sunday. The Storm finished behind tournament champion Knox, which won the tournament with a 36-hold total of 615.
Bender's 4-over 76 represented the lowest round of the weekend for the Storm. He opened the tournament with a 78, closing the weekend at 154, just four strokes back of tournament medalist Duncan Wheeler of Knox.
Nathan Eaton fired back-to-back rounds of 79 to finish with 158, good for eighth in the individual standings. Austin Hronich shaved seven strokes from Saturday's opening round, carding a 79 to finish in 17th place.
Simpson will compete in the Jim Weatherbee Invite in Galesburg, Ill. on Friday and Saturday, March 29-30.