Talented Men's Golf Team Looking to Break Out
Feb. 3, 2006
The fall season proved two things about the 2005-06 edition of the men's golf team. One is that there is a lot of talent on the team. However, it also proved that there is inconsistency among the talent and if things are to improve for the Tigers this year, there will have to be more consistency among the many talented players that make up the Memphis squad this year.
Fellow sophomore Ian Rochester, who finished last year strong with an individual title at the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate and also had a strong summer by winning the Memphis Publinks Championships, figures to have a strong hold on the No. 2 spot. He had one top 10 finish this fall and was second to Fortin-Simard in stroke average for the fall and also finished second in scoring average last season.
The remainder of the positions in the starting lineup figure to change on a frequent basis depending on who is playing well. Senior Mike Regenold was the only other player other than Fortin-Simard and Rochester to start every tournament over the fall, and this came after he did not see a single start last year as a junior. He played decent during the fall, coming after a summer in which he qualified as an alternate for the U.S. Amateur. His best finish over the fall was a tie for 30th, and he shot a round of 73 in three of his four tournament starts.
Freshman Josh Ray, who also qualified for the U.S. Amateur last summer, started Memphis' last three tournaments of the fall. He will be looking to find more consistency in his game, as he shot a round as low as 70 but also had a round as high as 91. Lewis Clarke received two starts over the fall and came in 22nd at the Memphis Intercollegiate and was also third on the team in stroke average at 75.5 for the fall. Robbie Greenwell and Clayton Ellis also should figure into the mix as they each saw action in two fall tournaments, one as starters and one as individuals. Ellis was the third member of the Tigers to qualify for the U.S. Amateur this past summer.
Freshman Brad Benjamin started his first collegiate tournament in the final fall tournament for the Tigers and will also compete for time in the lineup. He is the lone left-handed hitter on the team. Fellow freshman Jeff Hall and sophomore Gavin Aldridge round out the team and will each be looking for their first career starts this spring.
Schedule Memphis will play in eight tournaments this spring, giving the Tigers a total of 12 tournaments this year, two more than last season's 10. Memphis opens the spring season February 13-14 with a trip to Orlando, Fla., to play in the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate, hosted by new Conference USA member UCF. That will be followed by another C-USA member-hosted tournament with the All-American Golf Classic in Houston hosted by the Cougars. Memphis then plays the first of two spring tournaments in Louisiana as they travel to Lafayette to take part in the Louisiana Classics the first weekend of March. They will then travel to Texas once again to play in the Border Olympics in Laredo, once again hosted by Houston. The month of March will be rounded out by a trip to Springfield, La., to participate in the Carter Plantation Intercollegiate hosted by Southeastern Louisiana.
The month of April begins with a trip to Greensboro, N.C., for the Forest Oaks Intercollegiate hosted by UNC-Greensboro. Memphis then returns to the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate in Auburn, Ala., for their final regular season tournament. The Tigers finished second last year and Ian Rochester won the individual medal at that event. The Conference USA Championship will once again be held at The Grand Bear in Gulfport, Miss., and will take place from April 24-26.