Freshman golfer opens season with strong performance
The Cougars started the 2010-11 season, setting high expectations after finishing in a tie for fourth place out of 14 teams in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic on Tuesday.
The team opened the season Monday with a youthful starting lineup that included four freshmen making their collegiate debut. They were joined by returning senior Matt Eschenburg.
Freshmen Jesse Droemer and Curtis Reed finished in the top 20 on the individual leaderboard.
“I think our finish was pretty good,” head coach Jonathan Dismuke said. “When you have four freshman in their first collegiate tournament, it’s hard to know where you’re going to end up. They had a tough start, but they held their ground and fought back.”
Jesse Droemer led the way for the Cougars individually, posting a 54-hole total of 216 (+6) and earning a 14th-place tie out of 81 entrants. Fellow freshman Curtis Reed was not far behind as he posted a score of 217 (+7) to tie for 17th place. Other scores included the two other freshmen, Wesley McClain, with a score of 221 (+11) to tie for 27th, and Bryn Flanagan, who tied for 41st at 224 (+14).
Senior Matt Eschenburg, who tied for fifth place in the 2009 version of the tournament, could not recreate last year’s magic and finished in a tie for 52nd with a score of 226 (+16). Senior Clark Mitzner, who played the tournament as an individual, tied for 44th at 225 (+15).
In 2009, Dismuke’s first year as head coach, the Cougars ended the tournament tied at sixth place. In comparison to last year tournament, Dismuke believes this year’s team is more team-oriented.
“Across the board, we had a better performance,” he said. “We’re playing at a higher level and have more depth this year with more really young players.”
Cabo is next
The UH golf team will compete next in the Cabo Collegiate Oct. 2-4 at the Querencia Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
The Cougars are expected to compete with the same lineup they used at Notre Dame.
“Our expectations are based on our control,” Dismuke said. “We can’t control how other teams perform, but we do have control over our performance. If we do a good job, we’ll be fine.”
The last fall action for the team is the Lone Star Invitational Oct. 17-18 in San Antonio.
Tradition in program
It is easy to forget about the UH golf program, especially when much of the attention is based on football and other sports.
Dismuke was not shy to point out the Cougars golf team is the University’s most successful program.
“We have 16 national championships and a history that is rich,” Dismuke added. “I believe it is one of the best NCAA programs of all time. It’s pretty cool to look back and see all the guys that have played here.”