Cougar use summer as springboard
With the season less than two months away, the players are competing in individual tournaments.
The team is busy trying to grow from its success last season, when the Cougars found themselves ranked in the top 25 by GolfStat.com for the first time since 2001 and the winners of the team and individual Conference USA titles.
All 12 players and three new recruits are competing in events worldwide, said associate head coach Chris Hill.
Junior Roman Robledo has thus far competed in two local tournaments and plans to do more. He will compete in the Southern Amateur Golf Championship at The Club at Carlton Woods: Fazio, which is located in the Woodlands. The tournament, which will be held from July 17 to 21, has a U.S. Amateur Championship qualifier, the U.S. Open for amateurs.
“We’ll play in at least three prestigious events this summer — three being the minimum. It’s important for their development to become professionals,” Hill said. “They’re not only competing against college players, but top amateur golfers. It’s important to see how they can compete worldwide, not just at the NCAA level.”
Some of the summer tournaments the players compete in have required them to go to a local or regional qualifier.
Such tournaments help the players with their world golf ranking, which will enable them to receive invitations to more prestigious events.
Director of golf Jonathan Dismuke said the team needs to continue doing the things that have made it successful.
“We’ve worked hard in practice, being diligent on and off the golf course. We’ve made a big commitment to be a nationally ranked program; (to) not overlook the small things that we do on a daily basis that have allowed us to be successful,” Dismuke said.
The team plans to continue the momentum into the fall by playing with more consistency, Dismuke said.
“We have a really talented group, but when things aren’t going the way we want, we check out a bit and don’t get out as much of the round as we could have,” Dismuke said. “So just maintaining a level of consistency throughout each round is going to be important in play.”
For Robledo, it’s about bringing the correct mindset to each practice and event.
“A big step (in) contention and trying to be in the top three as an individual and having more leadership within the team (is) that we have the mindset that no matter who we play we’re going to win.”