Feb. 16, 2014
Q&A with UC Head Coach Doug Martin | Spring Season Preview Video
CINCINNATI – Looking to build off a strong fall season that featured five Top 5 finishes in as many tournaments the University of Cincinnati men’s golf team starts its spring season at the Rice Intercollegiate Feb. 17-18 at the Westwood Golf Club (par 72; 7,184 yards) in Houston, Texas.
The 54-hole tournament includes two rounds on Monday beginning at 9 a.m. ET. The final round starts on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET. The Bearcats will compete in the 15-team tournament against host Rice as well as Arkansas State, Drake, Florida Atlantic, Gonzaga, Houston Baptist, Lipscomb, McNeese State, Nicholls State, Old Dominion, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, UT-Pan American and UT-San Antonio.
Cincinnati played well in the fall season winning the Cleveland Invitational (Oct. 1); tying for second at the Marshall Invitational (Sept. 10); posting two third-place finishes at the Bearcat Invitational (Oct. 8) and the Temple Invitational (Oct. 13); and taking fifth at the Cardinal Intercollegiate (Sept. 24).
“Anytime you have success it energizes the kids,” UC head coach Doug Martin said. “Finishing in the top 5 of each event with one win certainly has been a confidence builder. Fortunately, the team has a tremendous work ethic and has made great strides since the fall season.”
The Bearcats were led in the fall by junior Baxter Reeves (Montgomery, Ala./Central Alabama CC), who posted a 70.9 stroke average. He finished in the Top 25 in every tournament, tying for second at the Bearcat Invitational and tying for third at the Cardinal Intercollegiate. He carded nine rounds with below-par scores during the fall.
Junior Jared Howard (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome) recorded a career-best 72.0 stroke average during the fall season with four Top 15 finishes. He took second place at the Cleveland State Invitational and tied for sixth at the Marshall Invitational.
“Baxter Reeves and Jared Howard have really helped raise the bar for this program,” Martin said. “They have really challenged each other and their teammates to get better.
“Baxter continues to mature as a player and has become much more disciplined,” Martin said. “Jared is the consummate hard worker, lowering his scoring average by five shots off last year.”
Sophomore Emerson Newsome (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek), freshman Jared O’Kelley (Canton, Ga./Creekview), junior John Michael O’Toole (Pinson, Ala./Central Alabama CC) and sophomore Blake Hamilton (Union, Ky./Ryle) also will compete in Houston.
Newsome registered a 73.0 stroke average in the fall, earning three Top 5 finishes, including a tie for sixth at the final fall tournament at Temple. O’Kelley played well in UC’s final three fall tournaments, finishing among the Top 25 in each event. O’Toole produced a trio of Top 30 finishes. Hamilton tied for 13th at the Bearcat Invitational.
“Excitement best describes our mindset as we begin our spring season,” Martin said. “We have done the work (in the offseason), now we must go enjoy the journey. Our goal is get better every week.”
Along with the Rice Intercollegiate, UC’s spring schedule also includes the USF Invitational March 204 in Dade City, Fla.; the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational March 16-17 in Muncie, Ind.; the Memphis Intercollegiate March 31-April 1 in Cordova, Tenn.; the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship April 7-8 in West Point, Miss.; the Bluegrass Invitational April 12-13 in Lexington, Ky.; and the American Athletic Conference Championship April 27-29 in Charleston, S.C.
Live scoring for the Rice Intercollegiate is available at BirdieFire.com.