The TCU men’s golf team is sending five players to the Cleveland State Invitational next week, the first outing of what head coach Bill Montigel said will be a year of improvement.Sophomore Franklin Corpening, senior Drew Laning, freshman Jon McLean, freshman Tom Miles and junior Drew Stoltz earned the right to play at Cleveland State by surviving the team’s own qualifying tournament.
Four freshmen additions have already shown their impact, Montigel said.
“I believe we will have a great year with this young talented team,” Montigel said. “Our goal is to keep improving as the year goes on and to try and win the NCAA championship. We can do this if our team plays as best as they can at all times.”
Performance at tournaments all over the nation will determine whether the Frogs get to play in the central region championship, which could lead to a chance at the NCAA tournament, said Drew Harris, associate director of media relations.
The 54-hole meet Monday and Tuesday, with two rounds the first day and one round the second day , will be played at the Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio.
At the end of each round, each team will take its top four individual scores and combine them for a team score for the round.
“The nice thing about this tournament is that the NCAA Regionals will be held there in the spring,” said Montigel. “This gives our team a chance to preview the course and become familiar with it so we can be prepared.”
The NCAA Regionals consists of the top 81 teams around the nation, including all conference winners, who automatically get a bid. The remaining spots go to teams that did not win their conferences, but have the next highest scores, determined by a point system.
Since the season is so new, rankings have not yet been posted by GCAA/Bridgestone Coaches Poll, said Montigel.
“Even though it is early in the year we have been playing very well. We all have high expectations and the freshman have been a good impact on us,” Corpening said.
“Our team has a different mind-set and focus this year, and that is to really concentrate on winning the NCAA Championship, and don’t be surprised if we do,” said Corpening. “We have a good chance since we seem to be doing a bit better this year.”
Adrienne Lang contributed to this article