North Texas Daily

Men’s golf looking for third straight conference championship

Men’s golf looking for third straight conference championship

Men’s golf looking for third straight conference championship
April 24
01:25 2014

Jordan Ottaway // Staff Writer

After winning back-to-back Sun Belt Conference titles in 2012 and 2013, the Mean Green men’s golf team looks to extend its success at the Conference USA tournament in Edmond, Okla., starting April 27.

Head coach Brad Stracke said this season has been filled with ups and downs, but overall the progression of the team over the course of the year has been on par with what he planned.

“We’ve played pretty good at times, and had times where our youth showed,” Stracke said. “We’re kind of where I expected us to be.”

Not counting the conference championship, the Mean Green played in 10 tournaments this spring, cracking the top five at four different times including a first place win in the Louisiana Tech Invitational in early March.

Stracke still sees improvements in his players on a regular basis.

“I definitely see it in the scores they’ve been shooting and by watching them play every day,” Stracke said.

Freshman Cory Churchman, one of six freshmen, said he had an up-and-down year, but feels content with his first year playing college golf. He said he’s more ready than ever to play for the title.

“I’m definitely excited,” Churchman said. “I feel like I’ve gotten the nerves out of the way with all the tournaments we’ve played.

The team believes having this many freshmen is beneficial for the team because the level of talent can only go up with all the young guys returning to play next year.

“It’s building blocks,” Stracke said. “You start with the first layer and keep building until you get to the top.”

The hype of playing for another conference title has not phased junior Jason Roets as he keeps sticking to his own preparation routine trying not to doing anything special just because it’s the conference tournament.

“Everyone has what they know to get them prepared for the tournament,” Roets said. “The only difference is you win a ring in one and you don’t in the other.”

The confidence level going into the tournament is high among the players and Stracke keeps telling his players to be ready for the golf course, because that is ultimately the biggest opponent out there.

Churchman feels the two-week layoff was beneficial for the team because the players got in quality practice time and really started to focus and get in the right mindset before ever leaving for Edmond.

“If we focus on every shot, every round, every tournament and perform to the best of our abilities, that’s all we can do,” Churchman said.

Focus is one point Stracke has constantly preached. For more than a month and a half he has said to focus and not worry about what everyone else is doing, the mindset he believes the team will need for Sunday.

“I feel good about where we are right now and where we’ll go in the future,” Stracke said.

Feature photo: Freshman Nick Rodriguez chips out of a sand trap at Trophy Club Country Club in Southlake on Sept. 10. The men’s team recently placed 11th at the Aggie Invitational in College Station on April 4. Photo courtesy of Rick Yeatts.

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