Men's Golf Ready To Continue Building Next Season|
June 9, 2011
By Rachel Hundley
After a promising sixth-place finish at the 2011 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship, on the strength of a pair of individual top-10 finishes, to bring the 2010-11 season to a close, University of Cincinnati men's golf coach Doug Martin sees a lot of positives in the past year and in future seasons.
"Overall I was very pleased with this season. We play a very difficult schedule, and we want our players to enjoy the experience of playing college golf," Martin said. "I was very pleased with our sixth place finish, just three shots out of fourth place, in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament and where our program is right now."
Martin was pleased with the spread of individual play that stood out from his top golfers over the course of the fall and spring seasons.
"In the fall season, Zach Bates was probably our most valuable player in terms of scoring average and overall play," Martin said. "Joe Kastelic and David Tepe played best the entire year though. They were our two mainstays this entire season and the guys we really turned to for results."
Kastelic, named to the All-BIG EAST Conference team, led the Bearcats in scoring average in three of his four seasons, including 2010-11, when he posted a 74.9 average. His third-place finish at the conference championship was his best of the season, and it capped a collegiate career in which he averaged 74.5 strokes over 116 rounds as a Bearcat.
Sophomore David Tepe also posted a top-10 finish at the conference championship with rounds of 73-73-75=221 to finish ninth. With Tepe and others returning to the Bearcats next season, Martin is confident that his team can pick up right where they left off at the BIG EAST Conference Championship.
"First off, we're only losing Kastelic for next season, so we have the core of our team nucleus coming back," Martin said. "We really need one underclassman to step up next season and take the reins. Kastelic's been our leader the whole time he's been here, and his shoes will be difficult to fill. We'll definitely need underclassmen to step up, and I'm interested in seeing who that person will be next season."
Martin sees a bright future for next season's squad, and he claims he has every reason to be confident in his youthful team.
"I'm really optimistic about our recruiting class and our returning players," Martin said. "I'm looking forward to picking up next year right where we left off. The core of our team is coming back, so I expect us to be in excellent shape."
With the departure of Kastelic, Martin expects to lean heavily on Bates, a junior, next season, who he sees as an excellent candidate to supplement the leadership lost in Kastelic's absence.
"Zach Bates really can be a great leader. Kastelic was a very vocal leader, but Zach is somewhat quiet," Martin said. "I have no doubt that we will be able to look to Zach to lead by example, and I'm really looking forward to him taking over as a leader next year. He's a great example for our underclassmen to follow."