March 2, 2005
St. Croix Tournament Notes in PDF Format
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Download St. Croix Tournament Program in PDF Format (Courtesy of Xavier Athletics)
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After a layoff of about a month since their first tournament of the spring, the Tiger golf team travels to the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the St. Croix Collegiate Classic, hosted by Xavier (Ohio) University. The three-day tournament, started last year by Xavier Director of Golf Doug Steiner and Carambola Golf managing partner Cosmo Williams, will be held at the Carambola Golf Club.
There will be 54 holes played, 18 on each day from Friday through Sunday, March 4-6, with a practice round on Thursday, March 3.
Tournament Field (17)
Akron, Charleston Southern, Charlotte, Eastern Michigan, Iowa State, Lamar, Marquette, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Memphis, UNC-Greensboro, Ohio, Ohio State, Texas-San Antonio, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Xavier.
The Carambola Golf Club was built in 1966 by Lawrence Rockefeller and was designed by famed golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The prototypical tropical course features low rolling hills and water on six different holes. This resort course has Bermuda grass fairways and Tifdwarf grass greens. Its rolling hills are liable to produce many uneven lies.
The Tigers own three tournament victories this year, having won the Radrick Farms Intercollegiate, the Memphis Intercollegiate, and the Missouri Bluffs Challenge during the fall season. They also have a second-place finish that came at the Rice Intercollegiate last month, which opened the spring season.
In those three tournament victories, the Tigers had three different individual medalists. Keven Fortin-Simard won it in Michigan with a score of 5-under, Allan Thomas shot a 2-under to win the Memphis Intercollegiate, while Andy Shiels shot the lowest score in relation to par of the fall for the Tigers with an 8-under to top the field in Missouri.
Fortin-Simard has finished in the top 10 in four of the Tigers' five tournaments and in the top five in three of the five, the most on the team in both categories. Thomas owns two top five finishes while Shiels has a pair of top 10's.
Fortin-Simard currently leads the Tigers with a 71.7 stroke average. Thomas is currently second at a 72.6 average per round while Shiels is just behind Thomas at 72.8. Despite sitting out the Rice Intercollegiate, Justin Miers is still fourth in stroke average at 72.9.
Memphis individuals own six rounds of below 70 this year, four of which came in Missouri, including the lowest round of the year, a 65 by Shiels, which was also the lowest in relation to par at six-under. Tiger individuals have put together 20 subpar rounds over their five tournaments. As a team, Memphis has four rounds below par out of 14.
Starting Lineup for St. Croix Collegiate Classic
(Number of starts in parenthesis)
1. Keven Fortin-Simard (6)
2. Allan Thomas (6)
3. Andy Shiels (6)
4. Ian Rochester (3)
5. Robbie Greenwell (2)
- Memphis' top three starters have all started every tournament of the year.
- Freshman Ian Rochester will be making his third straight start after not starting the first three tournament of the year. He did, however, play as an individual at the Memphis Intercollegiate.
- Rochester's scores have counted as one of the top four scores in four of his five rounds as part of the starting lineup.
- Freshman Robbie Greenwell will be making his second start of the year. The first came at the Memphis Intercollegiate, where one of his three rounds counted as part of the team score.
- Memphis will be starting four freshmen for the first time this year. The Tigers have started three freshmen in three of their previous five tournaments.
Comeback Falls Just Short
Memphis made rallying from behind a regular tournament occurrence during the fall season, as the Tigers had to rally from a deficit entering the final round to win in all three of its tournament victories. At the Rice Intercollegiate, the Tigers struggled in rainy and windy conditions in the first round and found themselves six shots out of first entering the final round of the tournament, which was shortened to two rounds due to the weather. The Tigers put together their fourth subpar round as a team in the final round but fell just one stroke shy of another team title, falling to North Texas by one stroke.
Memphis has had to rally from a deficit entering the final round to win in all three of its tournament victories, and came just one stroke shy of doing the same at another. Listed below is Memphis' place and deficit entering the final round in its tournaments along with the Tigers' finish and margin of victory or deficit at the end of the tournaments.
Tournament Entering Final Round After Final Round
Michigan 2nd, 2 shots back T1st, 7 shots ahead
Memphis 2nd, 4 shots back 1st, 7 shots ahead
Missouri 3rd, 2 shots back 1st, 9 shots ahead
Wilmington 11th, 26 shots back 11th, 30 shots back
Rice T4th, 6 shots back 2nd, 1 shot back
Miers Sits Out/Rochester Plays Second Straight
After being a part of the starting lineup for all four of Memphis' fall tournaments, junior Justin Miers sat out the spring opener as he did not play in the Rice Intercollegiate after not qualifying. On the flip side, freshman Ian Rochester played in his second straight tournament as part of the starting lineup after not appearing in the lineup in the first three. The same thing will occur at this tournament, as Miers will once again sit out and Rochester will play in his third straight.
Tiger golfers had three subpar rounds out of a possible 10 at the Rice Intercollegiate, giving Memphis individuals in the starting lineup 20 rounds of below par out of a possible 70 competitive rounds, or 22 percent. Tiger golfers also have had seven rounds of even par, meaning 30 percent of all Memphis individual rounds have been either at or below par.
Rain and Wind Gets Best of Tigers
Rainy and windy conditions made for high scores of all 15 teams in the first round of the Rice Intercollegiate. The Tigers shot a 12-over 300 as a team and did not have one individual shoot below par in the first round, the first time that not a single Tiger shot below par in a single round of a tournament. Memphis did rebound to shoot its fourth team round of below par in the final round of the rain-shortened tournament as three of the five golfers in the lineup shot subpar scores.
Shiels Sets School and Course Record
Freshman Andy Shiels set a new school record for the lowest score in a tournament when he shot a 205 (8-under) to win the Missouri Bluffs Challenge in October. The 205 surpasses the 206 shot by Tim Roop at the Glenn Red Jacoby in 1990.
Shiels also set a course record at the Missouri Bluffs Golf Club with his final round of six-under 65. That round is also the second-lowest round in school history and lowest by a Memphis golfer this year.
Tigers Currently Ranked Above NCAA Regional Threshold
According to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin District rankings, Memphis is currently ranked seventh in the Southeast Region. These rankings are unofficial, however they are very close to the actual committee rankings. There are a fixed number of teams from each region that are guaranteed a berth in the NCAA Regionals, with remainder of berths coming from at-large teams and automatic berths from conference champions. The top eight teams in the Southeast District are guaranteed a berth in the NCAA Regionals.
Southeast District Rankings
3. Georgia State
5. South Carolina
Tigers Freshmen Ranked Near the Top in Country
The Memphis freshman class is currently ranked seventh in the country in Golfstat's Top 25 Freshman Class Impact Rankings. This ranking attempts to measure the contributions of freshmen to the team's overall success. Memphis, which has had two freshmen, Keven Fortin-Simard and Andy Shiels, in its lineup for all five tournaments this year, has a relative strength ranking of 371.212 out of a possible 1000 and Fortin-Simard and Shiels are averaging a combined 72.25 strokes per round. The freshmen have been ranked no lower than seventh for the entire year and were ranked first in the first rankings that came out following Memphis' first tournament.
Trio Ranked in Golfstat Cup Top 250
As of the latest rankings, three Memphis golfers are ranked in the top 250 standings for the Golfstat Cup. Keven Fortin-Simard is ranked #60, 2.376 strokes out of first place in adjusted average at 71.71. Allan Thomas is ranked #197, 3.305 stokes behind at 72.64. Andy Shiels came in at #226, 3.447 strokes out of first at 72.79. Justin Miers was ranked in the top 250 but dropped out after the Tigers' final fall tournament.
The Golfstat Cup is awarded every year to the individual with the lowest stroke average per round of golf. The rankings are adjusted to take into account par and conditions. Players must have played in at least 20 rounds by the end of the season and cannot have been disqualified or withdrawn from more than one stroke play tournament during the season. Past winners of the Golfstat Cup include Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Charles Howell, and Hunter Mahan.
Memphis Ranked in Top 10 of Statistical Categories
Memphis is currently ranked eighth in the country in par three scoring with a 3.15 average. The Tigers are also ranked 10th in the country in fairways hit at .726. Individually, Keven Fortin-Simard is ranked third in the country in par three scoring at 2.92.
Memphis in National Rankings
During the fall season, Memphis was ranked as high as 13th in the Golfweek rankings and 15th in the Golfstat rankings. Currently, the Tigers are ranked 34th in the Golfweek rankings and 35th in the Golfstat rankings. Those two rankings are based on numbers and statistics. In the two polls that are subjective, based on voting, Memphis is receiving votes in GCAA Bridgestone Coaches' Top 25 but is unranked in the GolfWorld poll.
Three Straight a First
For the first time in the history of the program, Memphis won three straight tournaments this past fall. The only other time that Memphis had won even two in a row was back in the fall of 1990 when the Tigers won both the Hillman Robbins Memorial Intercollegiate in Memphis and the Dixie Intercollegiate in Columbus, Ga. The tournaments were respectively held on Oct. 9-10 and 19-21, 1990. Ironically, current head coach Grant Robbins was a redshirt freshman on the that season's team. Even more ironic, the individual medalist in both of those events was Memphis native Shaun Micheel, who competed collegiately for Indiana. The 1990-91 season was also the only other season in which Memphis won more than one tournament in a season until this year.
Fortin-Simard Shatters Pair of Course Records
Freshman Keven Fortin-Simard not only shined in tournament competition this past fall, but he also put some impressive numbers in qualifying. While practicing and qualifying for the Memphis tournaments this year with his teammates, Fortin-Simard broke two Memphis-area course records. He shot 64's at both Whispering Woods and Quail Ridge over the fall.
Thomas Named C-USA Golfer of the Month
Senior Allan Thomas was named the Conference USA Golfer of the Month for the month of October. During that month, Thomas had a pair of top five finishes, including a first place finish at the Memphis Intercollegiate where he was the only player to shoot under par in the event. He also finished fifth at the Missouri Bluffs Challenge and was the top Tiger finisher at the Landfall Tradition.
Tigers Sign Three
Head coach Grant Robbins announced the signings of three student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2005-06 school year. Brad Benjamin of Rockford, Ill., Jeff Hall of Franklin, Tenn., and Josh Ray of New Braunfels, Texas will all attend Memphis and play golf beginning next fall. Benjamin, from the same hometown as current freshman Andy Shiels, is currently ranked #47 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings for the Class of 2005 and is also the top ranked junior in Illinois by Junior Golf Scoreboard. Hall is ranked #129 in the same rankings by Golfweek while Ray will be a third-generation student-athlete at Memphis as both his grandfather and father both played football and the U of M. All three individuals have played on a national level with the American Junior Golf Association.
About the Tournament Field
Akron: This will be the first tournament of the spring season for the Zips, whose best finish of the fall season was a 10th place finish at the Georgetown Hoya Invitational, the final of five tournaments played during the fall. Ryan Culbertson leads Akron in stroke average with a 74.8 average and also owns the best individual finish for the Zips with an 18th place showing at the Hoya Invitational.
Finishes: Northern Intercollegiate (Wisconsin) - 12th of 13
Cardinal Intercollegiate (Louisville) - T15th of 19
Earl Yestingmeier Invitational (Ball State) - 13th of 18
Xavier Invitational (Xavier) - 19th of 19
Georgetown Hoya Invitational (Georgetown) - 10th of 12
Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers are one of the hottest teams in the field, as they enter the tournament having won four straight tournaments. They won their final three tournaments of the fall, including one that they hosted, as well as their first tournament of the spring, the Spring Kickoff Classic, which they also hosted. They also have a second place finish. Shawn Hall owns five top 10 finishes in CSU's six tournaments, including a second place finish at the Spring Kickoff Classic.
Finishes: Raines Development Intercollegiate (Francis Marion) - 3rd of 13
Mission Hills Intercollegiate (Winthrop) - 2nd of 20
Pirate Fall Intercollegiate (East Carolina) - 1st of 15
CSU Fall Invitational (Charleston Southern) - 1st of 10
Western Carolina Intercollegiate (Western Carolina) - 1st of 8
CSU Spring Kickoff (Charleston Southern) - 1st of 17
Charlotte: The 49'ers opened the spring season by finishing in fourth place at the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate, shooting the best score of the day in the third round to move up the leader board into fourth. Charlotte won its own tournament, the 49'er Collegiate Classic during the fall and also had a third place finish and a pair of fifth place finishes. Matt Mincer is the top scorer for the 49'ers at 74.2, while Ray Sheedy and Andrew DiBitetto aren't far behind at 74.3 and 74.6, respectively.
Finishes: Raines Development Intercollegiate (Francis Marion) - 5th of 13
Adams Cup of Newport (Rhode Island) - 3rd of 13
Franklin Street Partners Invitational (North Carolina) - 5th of 9
Duke Golf Classic (Duke) - T10th of 14
49'er Collegiate Classic (Charlotte) - 1st of 15
UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate (UCF) - 4th of 18
Eastern Michigan: The Eagles will be playing in their first tournament of the spring after winning their final tournament of the fall, the Georgetown Hoya Invitational. They also finished in the top five in one other tournament. Korey Mahoney is leading EMU in stroke average at 72.6 while T.J. Shelton is second at 73.5. Mohoney was also the individual medalist at the Hota Invitational and also owns one other top 10 finish from the fall.
Finishes: Inverness Intercollegiate (Toledo) - 13th of 13
Cardinal Intercollegiate (Louisville) - 6th of 16
Earl Yestingmeier Invitational (Ball State) - 5th of 19
Xavier Invitational (Xavier) - 14th of 19
Georgetown Hoya Invitational (Georgetown) - 1st of 12
Iowa State: This will be the third tournament that the Cyclones will be competing in with Memphis and their eighth of the year overall. They are coming off an 11th place finish at the UTSA Intercollegiate this past week. Drew Dalziel leads ISU with a 74.6 stroke average while Chris Baker is second at 75.5. Those two individuals are the only two to play every round in every event for the Cyclones this year.
Adams Cup of Newport (Rhode Island) - 7th of 13
Memphis Intercollegiate (Memphis) - 11th of 16
Missouri Bluffs Challenge (Missouri) - T9th of 13
Big 4 Challenge (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) - 4th of 4
UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate (UCF) - 17th of 18
UTSA Intercollegiate (UTSA) - 11th of 17
Lamar: The Cardinals had a very successful fall, winning three tournaments along with a third and fourth place finish. The fourth place finish came at the Missouri Bluffs Challenge where Memphis finished first. They finished eighth in their first spring event of the year, the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate. Dawie Van Der Walt is leading the Cardinals with a 70.7 stroke average and two separate individual medals.
Finishes: Mid-Pines Intercollegiate (UNC-Greensboro) - 3rd of 17
Baylor Invitational (Baylor) - 1st of 9
Stonebridge Invitational (SMU) - T8th of 16
Missouri Bluffs Challenge (Missouri) - 4th of 13
Wolf Pack Classic (Nevada) - 1st of 18
Del Walker Intercollegiate (Long Beach State) - 1st of 12
Marquette: The Golden Eagles won their first event of the spring season, the rain-shortened Bethune-Cookman Spring Invitational last weekend with a one-round total of two-over 290. They also own a first place finish from the fall season, having won the John Piper Intercollegiate, as well as a second place finish. Ted Gray leads Marquette with a 71.9 stroke average and he was the individual runner-up at the 49'er Collegiate Classic.
Finishes: John Piper Intercollegiate (Bowling Green) - 1st of 16
Northern Intercollegiate (Wisconsin) - 5th of 13
Cardinal Intercollegiate (Louisville) - 2nd of 19
Xavier Invitational (Xavier) - T9th of 19
49'er Collegiate Classic (Charlotte) - T8th of 15
Bethune-Cookman Spring Invitational (Bethune-Cookman) - 1st of 12
Marshall: The future Conference USA member Thundering Herd participated in just three tournaments over the fall and this will be their first of the spring. Their best finish of the year was a fifth place showing at their first tournament of the year, the Mid-Pines Intercollegiate in September. Shawn Warren leads the Herd with a 72.75 stroke average and also has the highest individual finish of the year for the Herd, a ninth place finish, and has been the top Marshall finisher in two of their three tournaments.
Finishes: Mid-Pines Intercollegiate (UNC-Greensboro) - 5th of 17
Adams Cup of Newport (Rhode Island) - 8th of 13
Xavier Invitational (Xavier) - T11th of 19
Miami (Ohio): The Redhawks have not played since the Missouri Bluffs Challenge in October, when Memphis rallied past them in the final round to finish first. That second place finish in Missouri was one of two second place finishes during the fall for Miami. They also own a fourth place finish. Ryan Swelin is the team leader in stroke average at 72.5 while Matt Thomas, who tied with Andy Shiels for medalist honors at the Missouri Bluff Challenge, is just behind Swelin at 72.6.
Finishes: Radrick Farms Intercollegiate (Michigan) - T9th of 14
Northern Intercollegiate (Wisconsin) - 4th of 13
Cardinal Intercollegiate (Louisville) - T11th of 19
Earl Yestingmeier Invitational (Ball State) - 2nd of 18
Missouri Bluffs Challenge (Missouri) - 2nd of 13
UNC-Greensboro: The Spartans will be making their second appearance of the spring, having finished 13th at the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate to open the spring season. They had a pair of second place finishes during the fall, one at their own tournament and the other coming at the 49'er Collegiate Classic where they were the runners up to Charlotte. Jake Lowder leads the Spartans in scoring average with an even 73 per round and he finished third at the 49'er Collegiate Classic. Nathan Stamey is second at 73.8 and he won the individual title at the Mid Pines Intercollegiate.
Finishes: Mid Pines Intercollegiate (UNC-Greensboro) - 2nd of 17
Cardinal Intercollegiate (Louisville) - T11th of 19
Xavier Invitational (Xavier) - T5th of 19
49'er Collegiate Classic (Charlotte) - 2nd of 15
Carolina Cup (Dual vs. High Point) - W, 17-7
UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate (UCF) - 13th of 18
Ohio: The Bobcats will be making their fall debut with this tournament after finishing the fall with a fifth place finish. They also finished second in their first tournament of the year. Brian Elsea leads the Bobcats with a 73.25 stroke average and owns a pair of top 10 finishes. Ryan Siekmann is a close second at 73.73 and Mark Cimarolli is third at 73.78. Both own one top 10 finish apiece.
Finishes: John Piper Intercollegiate (Bowling Green) - 2nd of 16
Cardinal Intercollegiate (Louisville) - 9th of 19
Georgetown Hoya Invitational (Georgetown) - 7th of 12
49'er Collegiate Classic (Charlotte) - T5th of 15
Ohio State: The Buckeyes will be playing in their second tournament of the spring, as they opened at the Gator Invitational in early February. They have one top five finish and finished sixth at the Landfall Tradition, five spots ahead of Memphis. Scott Anderson has been the top OSU finisher in four of the Buckeyes' five tournaments and he tops the team in scoring average at 71.4. Zach Randol and Colin Biles each average a 74.
Finishes: SMU Invitational (SMU) - 10th of 16
Gary Koch Invitational (Florida) - 14th of 15
Barona Intercollegiate (San Diego State) - 5th of 14
Landfall Tradition (UNC-Wilmington) - 6th of 12
Gator Invitational (Florida) - 12th of 15
Texas-San Antonio: The Roadrunners are coming off a fifth place finish at their own UTSA Intercollegiate. They also played in the Rice Intercollegiate with Memphis, finishing 12th. Their best finishes are a pair of third place finishes during the fall. Nick Olivarri leads UTSA with a 72.0 stroke average and has five top 10 finishes in UTSA's six tournaments.
Finishes: Mean Green Classic (North Texas) - 7th of 14
Kansas Invitational (Kansas) - 3rd of 13
SMU Invitational (SMU) - T3rd of 16
Del Walker Intercollegiate (Long Beach State) - T8th of 12
Rice Intercollegiate (Rice) - 12th of 15
UTSA Intercollegiate (UTSA) - 5th of 17
Rhode Island: The Rams have logged some frequent flyer miles already in the spring, having traveled to Hawaii for their first tournament of the fall before coming to St. Croix. They had two second place finishes and one third place showing in the fall. Ben Spitz is the team leader in scoring average with a 73.8 and tied for first place in a tournament, while Jason Pannone is a close second at 73.9 while also owning a top five finish.
Finishes: Mean Green Invitational (North Texas) - 14th of 14
Adams Cup of Newport (Rhode Island) - 4th of 13
MacDonald Cup (Yale) - 2nd of 14
NEIGA Championships (Brewster, Mass.) - 2nd of 46
49'er Collegiate Classic (Charlotte) - T3rd of 15
Taylor Made/Waikola Intercollegiate (Hawaii-Hilo) - 20th of 21
Wisconsin: This will be the first tournament of the spring for the Badgers, who tied with Memphis as well as Purdue for first place at the Radrick Farms Intercollegiate back in September. Wisconsin lost a two-day dual match at San Diego State last week. The Badgers also own a tournament victory at their own Northern Intercollegiate during the fall and also own a second place finish. Garrett Jones is the team leader in scoring average with a 71.9 average and he finished second to Keven Fortin-Simard at Michigan, while Jeff Kaiser is second at 73.2.
Finishes: Radrick Farms Intercollegiate (Michigan) - T1st of 14
Northern Intercollegiate (Wisconsin) - 1st of 13
Hawkeye Intercollegiate (Iowa) - 4th of 9
Xavier Invitational (Xavier) - T2nd of 19
San Diego St. (Dual Match) - L, 585-600
Xavier: This will be the fourth and final tournament of the year that the host Musketeers will be competing in with Memphis. The second place finish at the Memphis Intercollegiate was the best of the fall for Xavier, which also had three fifth place finishes. This is the first spring tournament for XU. Jason Kokrak is averaging a 72.3 and has three top 10 finishes to lead the Musketeers while Andy Pope is second at 73.3.
Finishes: Radrick Farms Intercollegiate (Michigan) - 5th of 14
Notre Dame Invitational (Notre Dame) - T7th of 15
Memphis Intercollegiate (Memphis) - 2nd of 15
Xavier Invitational (Xavier) - T5th of 19
Landfall Tradition (UNC-Wilmington) - 5th of 12
Other Tournament Facts
- Memphis has competed against seven teams in the field in other tournaments so far this year. Those teams are (number of other tournaments listed in parenthesis) Iowa State (2), Lamar (1), Miami (Ohio) (2), Ohio State (1), Texas-San Antonio (1), Wisconsin (1), and Xavier (3).
- When competing against these seven teams above, the Tigers have finished either above or tied with all of them except for Ohio State and Xavier at the Landfall Tradition.
- The Tigers will face just three teams from this tournament in tournaments later on this spring. Those teams are Charlotte, Lamar, and Marquette.
- Four teams in the field played in last season's NCAA Regionals. Those teams Lamar, Ohio State, Rhode Island, and Xavier. Rhode Island advanced to the NCAA Championships.
- The field features three teams that are currently ranked within the NCAA Regional threshold in their respective regions by the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Those teams are Lamar, Memphis, and Rhode Island.
- None of the teams in the field are ranked in the National Top 25 in any poll or rankings. Memphis is the highest ranked team in the field in both the Golfstat and Golfweek rankings. Memphis, Lamar, Xavier, and Rhode Island are all receiving votes in that order in the GCAA/Bridgestone Coaches' Top 25 poll
Memphis will have just four days off before heading to its next tournament, the Conrad Rehling Invitational in Tuscaloosa, Ala. hosted by the University of Alabama. The three-day tournament will take place from March 11-13 at the Ol' Colony Golf Club.