The TCU men’s and women’s golf programs are ready to show they are teams to be reckoned with as both kick off their seasons Monday.The men’s team will be traveling to Toledo, Ohio, to play in the Inverness Intercollegiate Tournament, while the women’s team will be in Albuquerque, N.M., for the Dick McGuire Invitational. Both tournaments will be played Monday and Tuesday.
The women’s team is ranked No. 25 in the nation by the Golf Digest 2006 College Golf Guide. They are also ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West Conference and No. 2 in Texas behind the University of Texas at Austin.
Women’s Head Coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin said she doesn’t take preseason rankings into too much consideration.
“Preseason rankings are just opinions,” Ravaioli-Larkin said. “We’ve got to go out there and play to earn it.”
Ravaioli-Larkin said the key to her team’s success this season is believing how good they are.
“We have the chemistry and the depth on the team this year,” Ravaioli-Larkin said. “Obviously, we’re looking forward to winning.”
Stamina will play a pivotal role in Albuquerque, because the team will have to play 36 holes Monday, Ravaioli-Larkin said.
The men’s team is going into this season with confidence, head coach Bill Montigel said, as four players on the seven-man team qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship tournament earlier this summer.
“There are a lot of good teams at this tournament, but we are going to take care of business and worry about ourselves,” Montigel said.
The men’s team will be led by sophomore Jon McLean, who became only the fourth golfer in TCU history to reach round 16 at the U.S. Amateur Championship, Montigel said.
Montigel said the golf course in Toledo, the future site of the 2009 NCAA tournament, is extremely difficult.
“Patience is going to be huge. There are small greens and narrow fairways, and we just have to hit it straight down the middle,” Montigel said.
Four out of the five players representing TCU in this tournament are sophomores, Montigel said, so they will have a chance to practice on a course they could be playing on in two years for the NCAA tournament.
“We have one of the younger teams in college golf, but that can be good because young guys get better, especially when they already have talent,” Montigel said.
Sophomore Jesse Speirs of the men’s team said this year’s squad has huge potential.
“It’s just a matter of our games coming together at the right time,” Speirs said.