Men's Golf 2004-05 Season Wrapup
July 1, 2005
Up and Down Season Ends for Tiger Golf
The 2004-05 season began on a high note for the Memphis men's golf team and stayed that way for most of the fall season as the Tigers won their first three tournaments of the year, which was the second-most tournament victories in the country after the fall season. The Tigers then began the spring season strong as well, finishing second in a 15-team field in the first tournament. However, from there, Memphis stumbled a bit, having three disappointing finishes in a row. It all bottomed out with a last place showing at the LSU Spring Invitational.
Comeback Kids Memphis 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. The Tigers moved up the leaderboard in the final round in five of their 10 tournaments and held their spot in the other five. Memphis never fell below its leaderboard position from the second to third rounds this year. 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 St. Croix 10th, 16 shots back 10th, 18 shots back Alabama 8th, 31 shots back 6th, 37 shots back LSU 17th, 43 shots back 17th, 56 shots back Auburn 2nd, 3 shots back 2nd, 24 strokes back C-USA T7th, 41 shots back 7th, 57 strokes backSave the Best for Last Memphis waited until the final round to shoot its best team score of the tournament in seven of its 10 tournaments. The only tournaments that the Tigers did not shoot their best score in the final round were the Radrick Farms Intercollegiate, the St. Croix Collegiate Classic, and the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate.
Subpar Drought Ends After the Tigers stretched the streak of having no golfers shoot at or below to six straight rounds, Keven Fortin-Simard ended that dubious streak by shooting an even par 72 in the final round of the LSU Spring Invitational. It was the first Tiger round at or below par since the second round of the St. Croix Collegiate Classic over a month ago. The Tigers then promptly ended the subpar-less streak with Ian Rochester's 65 in the first round of the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate.
Rochester Sets Personal Best
Freshman Ian Rochester set a personal best with his round of seven-under 65 in the first round of the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate. It was the lowest round in relation to par this year by a Tiger golfer and tied for the lowest overall. Andy Shiels also shot a 65 at the Missouri Bluffs Challenge in October, but that was on a par 71 course. Some other accomplishments from the 65 are listed below.
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.
Tigers Freshmen Finish Ranked Fourth in Country The Memphis freshman class finished the year ranked fourth 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 had two freshmen, Keven Fortin-Simard and Andy Shiels, in its lineup for all 10 tournaments this year, had a relative strength ranking of 432.263 out of a possible 1000. Memphis had at least three freshmen in the starting lineup in its last seven tournaments as Ian Rochester also started the last seven. For four tournaments this year, Memphis even had four freshmen in its starting lineup, as Robbie Greenwell started four tournaments in the spring. The Tiger freshmen in the starting lineup combined to average 74.63 strokes per round. The freshmen were ranked no lower than seventh for the entire year and were ranked first in the first rankings that came out following Memphis' first tournament of the fall.
Golfstat Freshman Class Impact Rankings Name Relative Stroke Strength Average 1. Louisville 531.285 73.33 2. Alabama 458.939 74.04 3. Coastal Carolina 447.486 74.59 4. Memphis 432.263 74.63
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.
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.
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. Memphis ended the year ranked 70th in the Golfweek rankings and 80th in the Golfstat rankings. Those two rankings are based on numbers and statistics. In the two polls that are subjective, based on voting, Memphis was unranked in the GCAA Bridgestone Coaches' Top 25 and the GolfWorld poll.
- Memphis competed against 26 teams this past year that qualified for 2005 NCAA Regionals. Those teams are listed below along with their finish in whichever regional they participated in. Also listed is Memphis' record when competing against that school, with a win meaning the Tigers finished above them in a tournament, a loss meaning Memphis finished below them, and a tie meaning the Tigers finished tied in the standings with them.
- All together, Memphis went 21-23-1 against NCAA Regional teams from this year.
- Memphis also competed against seven teams this past year that qualified for the NCAA Championships. Those teams are listed below along with their finish.
- All together, Memphis went 5-6-1 against NCAA Championship teams from this year.