Special: Coach: Men’s golf looks to develop young team

    222
    print

    Although early season struggles have slowed down the men’s golf team, the Horned Frogs look to rebound by starting the spring season with a trip to Hawaii for the Waikoloa Intercollegiate Invitational.After coming off a fall season, which saw the Horned Frogs enjoy success in several national polls, head coach Bill Montigel said TCU is working harder than ever to ensure success in its new home, the Mountain West Conference.

    Montigel said that heading into the first spring tournament, the Horned Frogs will be taking all four freshmen to play together for the first time in a competitive tournament.

    “It takes time to adjust to college golf,” Montigel said. “If they keep working hard, they will help us succeed.”

    Montigel, who has led the Horned Frogs to five consecutive conference championships and seven of the past nine, said he has focused on building a respectable, clean and successful program for more than a decade.

    “We try to do everything with class,” Montigel said. “We’ve got guys that college athletics are all about.”

    One of those guys is junior Drew Stoltz, who is not only one of the team’s most experienced golfers, but also one of the most talented, as evident by his victory at last year’s conference championships.

    “To be successful in the Mountain West, we need to continue to get better each tournament and gain confidence as we go through the spring season,” Stoltz said.

    Stoltz, along with senior Drew Laning, will lead a young team that includes four true freshmen against the heavy hitters of the Mountain West: the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Brigham Young and New Mexico.

    “Being as young as we are, we need to understand that each tournament is a challenge, and we must continue to work hard in between tournaments in order to be successful like we have in past years,” Stoltz said.

    One of the young guns expected to contribute immediately is freshman Jon McLean, who has been touted by some college golf authorities as one of the best freshmen to ever sign with TCU.

    McLean, already has an extensive golf pedigree. McLean’s father Jim is one of the nation’s top golf instructors, and last year Jon finished the summer season ranked No. 26 among all amateurs.

    “There is some pressure on me, but most of it is put on by myself,” McLean said. “I know I can be one of the best college players in the country if I keep doing what I have been doing.