2010 Spring Season Preview|
Jan. 29, 2010
After boasting an impressive showing in the fall season, the University of Cincinnati Men's Golf team gears up for its spring schedule.
The men finished up their 2009 fall season placing no worse than third at three of their five tournaments.
Head coach Doug Martin has confidence in the Bearcats going into the spring.
"This year is going great. We are ranked 131st in the country out of 350 men's Division I golf programs," said Martin.
Martin put it in perspective. "There are 113 Division I college football teams. The top 33% of that is a great group."
Part of that success Martin attributes to the four new freshmen that joined the team in the fall.
"All four have come in and played an integral part," Martin said of the new players.
One of those players, freshman Zack Bates, has high hopes for the spring as well.
"If we go out and play our game, focus on the little things, and work hard I think we can win the BIG EAST or at least be very competitive," said Bates on how he thinks the team will perform this spring.
Junior Joe Kastelic shares Bates's confidence after their fall showing.
"We played well at three of our five matches, the most since I've been here," said Kastelic.
Going into the spring there are already things the team is focusing on improving, in order to play even better.
"We need to get the work done in practice before the first travel," said Martin.
The Bearcats will kick off the spring portion of their season March 1 in Martin, Tennessee, at the Tennessee-Martin Invitational.
"We have five tournaments prior to the BIG EAST Tournament that will help us in growth. We want to play the best we can play at the BIG EAST," said Martin. "The level of competition we can play in before the tournament will hopefully prepare us."
The players, while confident, know that there is a lot of work to be done in order to be ready come tournament time.
"As a team we need to be more consistent and not have any more rounds over 300," said Kastelic.
Both Kastelic and Bates acknowledge that they need to work on their short game, as individuals in order to be better for the spring.
"The best players in the world and in college are separated on and around the greens," said Bates.
Kastelic and Martin are both wary, however, of the time off that the team has had over the winter months. Unlike other teams, the Bearcats cannot practice year-round.
"In the spring we have a little disadvantage," said Martin. "We'll need the first couple of tournaments to get a little more comfortable out on the course."
Kastelic, while confident in the team's performance, shares his Coach's concerns.
"We don't know what to expect, the time off could be an issue," said Kastelic.
Bates, however, is fully confident in the team and even would consider the time off an advantage.
"I think we handled the time off well. Coming straight from summer to fall with school and practice on top was rough. I think we handled it well, had some time off and now know what to expect," said Bates.
Finishing the fall season, the Bearcats were ranked No. 4 in the BIG EAST. With an impressive fall leg, the team should come out strong, ready to take on the spring schedule and the BIG EAST Tournament.
"We need to continue to learn and continue to improve and we can do some damage at the BIG EAST," said Bates.