The TCU men’s golf team saw both individual and team success at the Carmel Cup in Monterey, Calif. this past weekend, which left head coach Bill Montigel and his players excited for tournaments to come.
Sophomore Julien Brun added to his decorated TCU career, shooting -10 on his way to a match play win after the three-day tournament.
Eli Cole, a redshirt senior playing in his first college tournament in more than a year, said Brun’s win demonstrated the broader impact he has on the team’s success.
“(Brun) is an incredible player,” Cole said. “Not only is he a great player to have for us to post good scores, but he helps us do well during the lost time, so he makes the whole team better, as well, which is a huge asset.”
Brun said he was happy with his individual play—he never shot more than 70—but the team’s performance against quality competition—No. 10 Texas A&M, for example—made the win even sweeter.
“Now we know if we’re able to win against those teams, it’s much more confidence and good for the next (tournament),” he said. “Last year, we were pretty close to winning tournaments, but didn’t win any, so it feels good to win, even if it’s a small one.”
He said he was more consistent in his putting and long game in this tournament and the small field—24 players—made it more competitive.
Entering Sunday’s match play, Brun said the team didn’t know how A&M played in the other match, so he knew TCU had to win at least three individual matches to win the cup.
Head Coach Bill Montigel said the win against Texas A&M on the first day showed him that his team could be on its way to victory.
“After the first round (against A&M), I knew going in that they were an incredible team,” he said. “When our top four guys beat their top four guys head-to-head, I felt pretty good about that.”
Brun said team play took precedence over individual success.
“(Since it was both group and match play), you didn’t really know how good you were (playing) or not, which made the team more important,” he said. “It was fun not knowing how they were playing individually and only focusing on the team.”
Both Brun—despite shooting a 68—and Daniel Jennevret lost their matches the third day, but three other Frogs before won their matches, leading to the team’s win.
Brun said with Texas Tech looming, the team still had to overcome some odds near tournament’s end.
“Tech played really well the last day, so we had a pretty big opponent at the end, and to still win the cup…it was great,” he said.
And even though Cole, Daniel Jennevret and Paul Barjon placed in the top 12, Brun said the team hasn’t reached its potential, especially with Cole having played multiple tournaments this summer as he recovered from a broken leg and Barjon playing his first ever college tournament.
Cole used the trip to his home state of California as an opportunity to have a minor follow up surgery on his knee, which will only keep him out for a week, he said.
He said the Carmel Cup gave him an opportunity to implement mental toughness he developed in his year away from college golf.
“I played (the course) quite conservatively whereas, before the injury, I used to play more aggressively because that’s how I thought you were supposed to play,” he said.
This mindset most came into play at the 7th hole at Pebble Beach, a well-known short par three, he said. Where most players were shooting bogies or pars on that hole, he shot a birdy and a par, respectively.
The team’s next tournament is Oct. 21-23 at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, which features six opponents ranked in the top 25, including No. 2 Texas.
Montigel said patience like Cole’s would be important as the team faces what he called one of the best schedules in college golf.