The up-and-down fall season for the men’s golf team came to a close Tuesday as it shot 10-ver and finished 16th at the CordeValle Classic in San Martin, Calif. Playing at an unfamiliar course and going up against a talented pool of nationally ranked competition such as UCLA, Coastal Carolina and tournament champion Stanford proved to be too much for the top-25 ranked Horned Frogs.
Though the team finished with a season-worst 16th place, the Frogs were fewer than 10 shots away from their third top-10 finish of the five-event fall season.
Head coach Bill Montigel said that while the team didn’t play its best golf, it had a good understanding of how to play the course’s par-five holes and used the opportunities presented there.
“I thought all the par-fives were reachable in two (shots),” Montigel said. “We were one of the better teams on the par-fives. Unfortunately, we didn’t play the par-fours so well.”
Senior Drew Stoltz and junior Franklin Corpening led the Frogs in individual scoring as both shot three-round totals of 1 over par and Stoltz scored 2-under par in the second round.
“I don’t think anybody really played up to their potential,” Stoltz said. “I had glimpses of good play here and there, but I just couldn’t put it together for an extended period of time.”
Although the team finished in the lower half of the bracket, there were several bright spots including the return of sophomore James Sacheck to tournament competition. After an injury-plagued 2005-2006 campaign limited him to two tournaments, Sacheck made his 2006-2007 debut and shot a three-round total of 8 over par.
“I was a little nervous at first,” Sacheck said. “Everything held up well as far as the pain goes.”
CordeValle, which is longer in length and has a higher course rating from its championship tees than that of Fort Worth’s Colonial golf course, was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. More than half of the teams in the tournament scored over-par on the course.
Stoltz said that even though the course was for the most part straight forward in its approach, the greens and slopes were difficult and made for a long tournament.
“You needed strong iron play,” Stoltz said. “If you weren’t hitting your irons well, it was tough to get in a position to make some birdies.”
Before the Frogs kick off their spring season Feb. 7, 2007 in Waikoloa, Hawaii, Montigel said he plans to put emphasis on the need for the team to strengthen their short game.
“I’m hoping each one of our guys will be honest with themselves and realize that each one of them needs to work really hard,” Montigel said.