North Texas Daily

Men’s golf prepared for championship defense

Men’s golf prepared for championship defense

April 18
19:36 2013

Audra Stamp / Staff Writer

The No. 38 UNT men’s golf team tees off this weekend at the Sun Belt Conference Championship, and after watching the Master’s last weekend for some inspiration, the team is ready to get out there and defend last year’s title.

The team is currently ranked No. 1 in the SBC after last year’s win, and is excited to show off its talent.  For some seniors, this may be their last chance to represent the Mean Green.

“We’ve played well this year,” head coach Brad Stracke said. “We’ve had the individual champion for the last two out of the three years, so the expectation is that we’d have somebody at the top of this tournament individually and team-wise.”

In last year’s SBC Championship, UNT beat out Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to take home first place and a total score of 873. Seniors Rodolfo Cazaubon and Carlos Ortiz were named All-Sun Belt Conference and tied for ninth place at five over par.

Over this season, the Mean Green captured one first place finish and three for second place. Cazaubon has helped lead the team during those finishes, attaining three individual first-place finishes himself. And despite being a senior and it being his last chance to perform in college, he said he hopes to play professionally like his idol one day.

“That is the dream for me, and every golfer since you are little, playing in the Masters,” Cazaubon said. “Rory Mcllroy, I kind of identify myself with him, and we are similar in fundamentals and the way we act.”

At the Morris Williams Invitational last weekend, UNT finished seventh overall and beat out two top-25 teams – No. 20 Kent State University and the No. 25 University of Houston. Curtis Donahoe finished in sixth place with a score of two under par at 211, and Ortiz tied for seventh place after shooting three under at 68 – his best performance this season.

The team has seen a lot of effort from its veteran players, as well as some potential in its younger teammates. Cazaubon leads the team in wins, and Ortiz had brought home a second- and fifth-place finish while sophomore Jason Roets has captured two third-place finishes. And for freshman Gonzalo Rubio, this will be his first appearance at the SBC Championship.

“I’m excited because this is what it’s all about,” Rubio said. “It’s going to be a learning experience and a good way to finish the year.”

The championship will be held at Muscle Shoals, Ala., on Monday through Wednesday. The weather will be favorable with warm temperatures and only a slight chance of rain and minimal wind.

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