Men's Golf Opens Season this Weekend
Sep 5, 2013
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - The University of Houston Men's Golf team opens its 2013-14 season this weekend when it competes at the Northern Intercollegiate, hosted by Northern Illinois at Rich Harvest Farms.
The three-day, 54 hole event will be played with 18 holes each day on the 7,218-yard, par-71 course. Competition tees off each morning at 8 a.m.
Fans can follow live scoring by visiting GolfStat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
A year ago, the Cougars captured the team and individual titles at the Conference USA Championships and advanced to the NCAA postseason for the second straight year. Under the leadership of Conference USA Coach of the Year Jonathan Dismuke, the Cougars won three tournaments and earned eight top-three team finishes during the 2012-13 campaign.
This weekend, Houston will compete for the first time as a member of the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars also will compete as the No. 17 team in the nation, according to GolfWeek's preseason rankings.
"We are excited to get the year started. It's been a long time coming," said Dismuke, who begins his fifth year with Houston. "The guys have been working hard, and we're looking forward to getting on the road."
The team has been in classes for less than two weeks to start the fall semester. Ideally, Dismuke would have preferred more time to help his players settle into a routine, but the chance to compete at the Northern Intercollegiate was too good to pass.
"This was an opportunity to play in a great tournament. Rich Harvest Farms is a great venue and will be hosting an NCAA Regional in the spring," Dismuke said. "We didn't want to turn down an opportunity like that."
The Cougars will compete as part of a 15-team field. Houston joins Ball State, UCF, Indiana, Kentucky, Liberty, Louisville, Miami (Ohio), North Texas, Ohio State, San Diego, St. Mary's, UT Arlington, Virginia and host Northern Illinois.
Indiana captured the team title a year ago with a score of 888, while Virginia's Denny McCarthy earned medalist honors at 3-over-par 216.
Dismuke and associate head coach Chris Hill will use a lineup that features representatives from all classes for the 2013-14 opener. Junior Roman Robledo, sophomores Blair Hamilton and Vincent Martino and seniors Wesley McClain and Curtis Reed will represent the Cougars at the Northern Intercollegiate. Freshman Matt Scobie will compete as an individual during his collegiate debut.
"This lineup did a great job this summer separating themselves. Since we didn't have as much time to qualify, we went with the guys that had the best summer," Dismuke said.
Robledo was the Cougars' leading performer a year ago, competing in 11 tournaments and topping the Cougars with a 73.21 scoring average. He tied for the team lead with five rounds in the 60s and earned his first collegiate title at the C-USA Championships with a score of 8-under-par 208.
He earned a place on the All-Conference USA First Team and C-USA All-Tournament Team and was a member of the PING All-Central Region Team.
Hamilton competed in only four tournaments in 2012-13 as a true freshman but made his mark during the summer. The Burlington, Ontario, Canada, native became the first Cougar since 2007 to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championships and advanced to the Round of 32, a first for the program since 1999.
Competing during his first collegiate season a year ago, Martino played in 11 events and fired a career-low 67 during the third round of the Rice Intercollegiate in early February. For his impressive performance all season, he was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
McClain begins his senior season after earning a place on the All-Conference USA Second Team a year ago. The Diboll, Texas, native competed in 10 tournaments with 11 rounds of par or better and placed second at the Border Olympics to help lead the Cougars to the team title.
Reed also begins his senior season in 2013-14 and is the only Cougar to compete in every team-scoring tournament during the last three years. A year ago, Reed joined Robledo on the All-Conference USA First Team after posting a 73.33 scoring average with a team-best 14 rounds of par or better.
Scobie will compete as an individual during his collegiate debut. The Ajax, Ontario, Canada, native was a member of Team Canada's Development Team and advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, the best performance by a Canadian player since 2001.
Fans can receive live scoring updates by following @UHCougarGolf on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at Facebook.com/HoustonCougarGolf.
Following the Northern Intercollegiate, the Cougars will compete as the American Athletic Conference's representative at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge. That tournament will be held Sept. 15-17 at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa.