Sept. 28, 2013
The University of Cincinnati men's golf team looks to continue its solid start to the fall season when it travels to compete at the Cleveland State Invitational, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, at Barrington Country Club (par72, 7,049 yards) in Aurora, Ohio.
The 54-hole event starts Monday at 9 a.m. ET. Teams will play 36 holes on the opening day with the final round taking place on Tuesday.
The Bearcats will compete against 11 other teams in the field: Appalachian State, Butler, Dayton, Evansville, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, Loyola, Oakland, Robert Morris, Wright State, Youngstown State and host Cleveland State.
UC has finished among the Top 5 in each of its first two fall tournaments of the season, including a fifth-place result in last week's Cardinal Intercollegiate. Dating back to last season's fifth-place finish at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship last spring, the Bearcats have finished among the Top 5 team finishers in each of the last three regular-season tournaments. The Bearcats opened the 2013 fall schedule by tying for second at the Marshall Invitational on Sept. 10.
"The carryover from Louisville is very positive," UC head coach Doug Martin said. "We've put together back-to-back tournaments with good, solid finishes. The confidence level is very high. I think the guys feel very comfortable with what they are doing and with golf, when you are comfortable, you are confident."
Junior Baxter Reeves (Montgomery, Ala./Brewbaker Tech/Central Alabama CC) took third at the Louisville event with the best tournament score of his young UC career at 4-under par 70-72-70=212. Reeves will be joined by teammates junior Jared Howard (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome High School); sophomore Emerson Newsome (Dacula, Ga./Mill Creek High School); junior John Michael O'Toole (Pinson, Ala./Pinson Valley High School/Central Alabama CC) and freshman Jared O'Kelley (Canton, Ga./Creekview High School). Junior Michael Wolf (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller High School) will take part in the tournament as an individual.
Reeves leads the squad with a 71.0 stroke average after two tournaments. Jared Howard is second at 71.2. Howard led UC in the opening tournament of the fall season, tying for sixth place at the Marshall Invitational with a career-best 3-under par 69-69-72=210. Newsome led the Cardinal Intercollegiate after the first round, tying a career-best with a 5-under 67. He finished tied for eighth at even par 67-72-77=216.
No live scoring is available for the Cleveland State Invitational.
Eliminating Unforced Errors
One of the lessons learned at the Cardinal Intercollegiate by Martin and the Bearcats was the need to minimize unforced errors on the course. Martin said poor putting, errant approach shots and some bad decisions prevented UC from finishing higher than fifth in the final team standings.
"We've been focusing on three things since the Louisville tournament when it comes to unforced errors," Martin said. We need to stop the three-putting; missing the flag on the short side with your approach shot; and just making poor choices. We're making progress on it, but we are not where we need to be.
"Looking at our statistical summer from the Louisville event, if we eliminated some of those errors we would have had the chance to win the tournament," Martin added. "The guys understand that. They recognize it and now it's just really putting it into play. We're still young as a team, but we are gaining experience. That makes me very optimistic about where we are heading."