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Stracke has men’s golf shooting to become best program in Texas

Stracke has men’s golf shooting to become best program in Texas

North Texas junior golfer Thomas Rosenmueller hits the ball in the Trinity Forest Invitational on Sept. 26. Sara Carpenter

Stracke has men’s golf shooting to become best program in Texas
October 16
23:10 2017

With newly added depth and an already experienced core, the Mean Green men’s golf team is looking to put its name into the conversation for the title of the best program in Texas.

North Texas seems to have already found its stride early this season. The addition of two new freshmen is meshing nicely with the upperclassmen and the team appears poised to take the next step.

The Mean Green began the year slowly, tying for eighth place at the Wolf Run Classic while shooting 58-over par as a group.  The team quickly rebounded, however, tying for sixth at the Trinity Forest Invitational before finishing second to Louisiana State University at its most recent tournament, the David Toms Intercollegiate.

“We didn’t start off how we wanted to,” head coach Brad Stracke said. “But it seems like we’re picking it up a little bit, and I just think this team is going to get better and better as the year goes on.”

One of the biggest changes from last season is the opening of one of the most state-of-the-art practice facilities in the state, the Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton. The course has helped the team improve this year and challenges both the men’s and women’s teams in their preparation.

Additionally, the arrival the two young newcomers, freshmen Viktor Forsland of Sweden and Vitek Novak of the Czech Republic, has paid off.  Both golfers have already penciled themselves in as key members of the team and have finished near the top of the team’s leaderboard in each event.

Forsland shot a 1-over par at the Trinity Forest Invitational and David Toms Intercollegiate, helping the team to its second-place finish in the latter. Such early successes have given him confidence that he can continue to help the Mean Green not just this year but for the next three as well.

“It was a huge adjustment coming from Sweden to the states,” Forsland said. “I didn’t know what to expect when coming here and the courses here are very different, but I like it. Playing against the best players in the state and knowing you can beat them gives you huge confidence.”

Players like Forsland have helped the returners improve as golfers, which has contributed to the growth the Mean Green feel they have made since last year.

“We picked up some good freshmen that have pushed us this year,” redshirt junior Jordan Sanders said. “The line up is deeper – last year we were about three deep and now have five or six guys who are at the same level. We have confidence that each of us can win an event individually.”

Sanders returned to action on the course this year after a hand injury forced him to redshirt and miss the entire 2016 season.  He shot even-par in his last two tournaments but continues to stress that the team’s runner-up finish doesn’t satisfy their long-term goals.

Former Conference USA Freshman of the Year Ian Synman joins Sanders as one of the team’s leaders and is back after a second team All-Conference year last season. He has shot 3-over par and 5-over par the last two tournaments but feels as though the team still has room to improve.

“It’s all mental,” Synman said. “We know we can compete against any team. Every tournament we play better because we eliminate doubt every time.”

With a pair of dynamic freshmen alongside leaders like Synman and Sanders, Stracke has high expectations for where he wants this team to be at the end of the season. After their second-place finish at the David Toms Intercollegiate, the Mean Green have one final fall tournament before taking off until February.

The team returns to action Oct. 22-24 at the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational.

“I think at the end of the year we are going to be one of the top programs in Texas simply by the talent that we have,” Stracke said. “These guys are going to mature as players and enhance their games.”

Featured Image: North Texas junior golfer Thomas Rosenmueller hits the ball in the Trinity Forest Invitational on Sept. 26. Sara Carpenter

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Malik Wright

Malik Wright

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