Men’s golf keeps high hopes

Ed Marlowe
Staff writer

 

This time of year is really warm in Charleston, S.C., about as warm as the golf clubs of the Racers.

Coach Eddie Hunt and the Racers hope to ride a recent hot streak into the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate this weekend.

Played at Turtle Point Golf Club in Charleston, the course is rated in the top 50 public courses in the United States and was designed by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus.

“I want to make the player use his mind ahead of his muscles – to control his emotions sufficiently to really think through his options before drawing a club from the bag,” said Nicklaus of the course.

Over the last six rounds, the Racers have done just that.

With a come-from-behind victory in the MSU Invitational and a strong fifth place finish at the Skyhawk Classic, Hunt said the team has a little bit of confidence rolling into the weekend.

“We’ve got a really positive attitude right now,” Hunt said. “We’re playing better and I hope we can close out the season on a high note.”

This will be the first year the Racers play in this specific tournament, and Hunt said he and the team look forward to the challenge the course will present.

“We like to play local schools, sure, but it’s the bigger schools and courses that provide the extra competition and help us come back with a positive attitude in the spring,” he said.

This year’s tournament fields 22 powerhouse teams throughout the nation, including the University of Connecticut, Butler, Miami University (Ohio) and Wisconsin.

After a starting lineup carousel, Hunt said he thinks he’s finally found a strong, experienced line-up playing well from top to bottom.

“I’ve had to use a different lineup in each of the past five tournaments just to figure out who is playing well and who isn’t making the cut,” Hunt said.

This weekend, the Racers will be banking on the swings of junior Patrick Newcomb, senior William Hunt and juniors Hunter York, Dustin Gosser and Tyler Brown.

Hunt said the recent development of York has been a boom to the team going forward.

“Hunter’s play as of late has been very steady and very even, I look for him to play particularly well this weekend,” Hunt said.

While the confidence in the line-up is good to see, Hunt said the starting five can change from tournament to tournament, week-to-week.

“It all depends on qualifiers,” he said. “The competition within the team breeds a better team. We’ve got a good line-up now, but it can change if someone starts playing better.”

The team is scheduled for a similarly difficult tournament in the spring called the Spring Break Invitational, being held March 23 through 25 at the Fountains Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla.

“These tournaments help us gauge how we’re playing and what we need to do to get better,” Hunt said.

The Racers tee off on Sunday and finish up Tuesday.

Contact Marlowe.