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North Texas men’s golf playing with “new attitude, energy and depth” this year

North Texas men’s golf playing with “new attitude, energy and depth” this year

North Texas men’s golf playing with “new attitude, energy and depth” this year
September 18
12:40 2019

The North Texas men’s golf team is playing with six new players this season, five of whom are freshmen.

“We have new energy, we have really good attitudes this year with these freshmen and the returners,” head coach Brad Stracke said.

Four of the ten players on the previous roster are returning. They are sophomore Lenny Bergsson, junior Viktor Forslund, redshirt senior Trent Hill and redshirt junior Kristof Ulenaers. Strake believes that this year’s team has more depth than last year. 

“We have a lot of good players at the bottom of our lineup right now, so, when you have depth like that, you’re gonna have a lot of guys work for their spots,” Stracke said. “And they’re not gonna be able to take time off and relax. They’re gonna have to work throughout the year to get their spot.” 

He said that last year, the players didn’t need to work as hard because they knew they’d all be traveling, so it was a different dynamic than it is this year.

“They’re gonna push each other more and they’re gonna have to work harder in their off days,” Stracke said. 

The team will be without last year’s seniors Jordan Sanders and Thomas Rosenmueller. Both Sanders and Rosenmueller played in all four tournaments in the fall of 2018 and had scoring averages of 72.82 and 71.45 respectively.

Though half the team is freshmen, Stracke is not afraid about the team regressing. Rather, he said he’s optimistic about the season.

“They’re bringing a lot of energy to the program, they’re working hard, they’re pushing upperclassmen which is great,” Stracke said. “They’re playing very, very good golf going into the first tournament.”

Stracke said the team doesn’t have any specific goals but rather each player was asked to set their own goals for the year.

For Forslund, one goal is for the team to make it to regionals. The team has missed out on the past two Conference USA regional championships. He said the team hadn’t played well in the last two years. Forslund wants to win a tournament this year now that he is finally getting the hang of college golf.

“I was struggling a bit my freshman year and now I know how things are done,” Forslund said. 

Last season, he had a scoring average of 73.21, played in all 10 tournaments and was named to the C-USA All-Conference second team. 

Forslund said it’s fun playing on a new roster and that he feels good about the new team members. He particularly likes that four of the new players are international.

“Golf is played differently on every continent,” Forslund said. “We have a few players from New Zealand. They might have a different view on golf than I have from Sweden. Then the players from the U.S. have another view. It brings more to the table and makes it more fun.”

Freshman Zak Karkaletsos, hailing from Spain, said there’s been an adjustment period that’s come with being in a different country. On the golf course it’s no different now that he’s playing a different style of golf.

“Although I’ve always said, a golf course is always 18 holes, 18 greens,” Karkaletsos said. “So, there’s a bit of an adaptation but, still, it [won’t] take too long,” Karkaletsos said. 

This season, Karkaletsos said he’s going to work on remaining a consistent player in hopes of being the best on the team.

“I know people say you’re a part of a team, but I believe you do need to strive to be the best in the team to make the team stronger,” Karkaletsos said. “‘Otherwise you wouldn’t be making the team stronger if you’re happy just to be part of the team.”

Freshman Cameron Harlock has a similar attitude. 

“I wanna play number one,” Harlock said. “I’m not shy about it. I [want to] be the best player on the team.”

By doing so, he said he wants to learn from the older players and see what they’re doing that he’s not doing, so he can improve. 

“I think we have a really young team this year which has its positives and its negatives,” Harlock said. “But from what I’ve seen so far, the positives outweigh the rest.”

The team will kick off its season at the Trinity Forest Invitational on Sept. 22 in Dallas.

Featured Image: Mean Green Junior Viktor Forslund lines up a putt during practice on Sept. 6, 2019. Image courtesy of Rick Yeatts

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Jasmine Robinson

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