Sep 7, 2013
The University of Cincinnati men's golf team beings its fall season at the Marshall Invitational Sept. 9-10 at the Guyan Golf and Country Club in Huntington, W.Va. The 54-hole tournament begins Monday with two rounds of action starting at 8:30 a.m. Final-round play is Tuesday.
UC is one of 15 squads competing along with Bowling Green, Cleveland State, Dayton, Eastern Kentucky, High Point, Loyola University Maryland, Northern Kentucky, Ohio, Richmond, Western Kentucky, William & Mary, Wright State, Xavier and host Marshall.
"The anticipation from all of the players to get this thing started is at a very high level. I almost hope that we're not too excited to get on the road," UC head coach Doug Martin said. "The Marshall tournament is going to be a great barometer for where we are as a team. I know the environment of this program is changing. We can talk about all we want to do at home but we need to go on the road and produce."
The 2013-14 Bearcats squad features 11 players, including six returners and five newcomers. Sophomore Emerson Newsome (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek High School) led the team a year ago with a 75.18 stroke average and claimed medalist honors at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship. Newcomers John Michael O'Toole (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley High School/Central Alabama CC) and Baxter Reeves (Montgomery, Ala./Brewbaker Tech/Central Alabama CC) helped direct Central Alabama Community College to the 2013 NJCAA Championship with Top 50 finishes. O'Toole was tabbed an honorable mention All-American while Reeves earned All-Region XXII team accolades.
"I've been looking forward to this since last April when I decided to come to UC," O'Toole said. "We're looking forward to seeing how we stack up against the competition. Once we have a couple of good rounds it's going to push us to get even better. If we can put two good rounds together on the first day I think we'll be right there at the leader board."
Junior Jared Howard (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome High School) and sophomore Blake Hamilton (Union, Ky./Ryle High School) will join Newsome, O'Toole and Reeves in the Bearcats lineup for the first tournament. Brennen Walsh (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder High School) also will compete in the event as an individual.
"I've got a very hard-working team that really wants to be good," Martin said. "Each player has his own place and his own role on the team and they all have great leadership qualities. Sometimes you worry about team chemistry when you have such close competition during qualifying like we have, but I think it's something the players have embraced."
The Bearcats finished 10th at the Marshall Invitational last year with former UC player David Tepe tying for 10th place to lead the squad.