Men’s golf opens season in familiar territory

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After finishing its fall season in the Georgia Collegiate tournament, the Horned Frogs will head to warmer weather to compete in the Amer Ari Invitation.

The team will travel to Waikoloa, Hawaii from Feb. 7-9 to compete against University of Hawaii at Manoa, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Colorado and others.

“Our goal for Hawaii is to go win it,” said coach Bill Montigel. “We have played over there for about 25 years in a row and most of the guys on the team now have played there before, so we know the course very well.”

The last time the Frogs competed in this tournament they placed fifth. Current senior Stefano Mazzoli finished sixth, shooting a career-best 7-under 65.

In the 2017-2018 season, the Frogs placed sixth out of 23 teams in the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate tournament and Triston Fisher, who competed as an individual, shot a career-best 4-under 68. The team will return to Palm Desert, California at the end of February to compete in the tournament.

Triston Fisher at the 2018 Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate Tournament. Photo Courtesy of GoFrogs.com

The Frogs will compete in the Southern Highlands Collegiate tournament, Lake Charles Invitational, the Hayt Invitational, and the Tiger Invitational before heading to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to compete in the Big 12 Championship.

“Our conference is one of the toughest in the country, but I think that is an advantage because our ultimate goal is to win the NCAA,” Montigel said. “By playing in such tough conference it gets you ready for later in the year because you have competed with some of the best. If you can compete with the teams in our conference, you can compete with anyone.”

Last year, the Frogs placed eighth in the conference. Oklahoma placed first and took over the Big 12 title from the University of Texas at Austin, who held the title from 2012-2017.

The Horned Frogs currently have the nation’s toughest schedule according to Golfweek.com.

“Our goal is to make it back to the NCAA tournament and we are going to have to play well this spring to do that, but I think we have to do that,” Montigel said.

After the spring season, the team will be losing six key players.
Triston Fisher, Turner Maclean, Pierre Mazier, Stefano Mazzoli, David Ravetto and Hayden Springer are all graduating from TCU.

The team signed five players in November to fill the spots of the graduating seniors: Chris Berzina, Caden Christopherson, Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira, Gustav Frimodt and Aymeric Laussot.

“We have a lot of high hopes for the incoming freshmen,” said Montigel. “Even though they are going to all be young next year, we feel like they have a lot of talent and our goals are incredibly high with those guys and what we would like to do is win the NCAA.”

Three veterans return to the team next year: first-years Alejandro Aguilera and Justin Gums and sophomore Trevor Brown.

“We really want those three guys to set a good example for the new guys coming in and work hard and kind of tell them how it is,” Montigel said.

The Frogs hope to end the season by competing in the NCAA regional tournament for the 30th consecutive season.

Turner Maclean at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Tournament. Photo Courtesy of GoFrogs.com