2012 Men's Golf Preview
Trinity men’s golf has consistently gained status as a nationally ranked team, and this season is no different. Coach Craig McConnell’s Tigers will take a No. 23 ranking, according to the Golf Week/Nike Division III Poll, as the Tigers open their spring season Feb. 27-28 at the Schreiner Spring Shootout in Kerrville, Texas.
“Our fall results put us in the conversation for an NCAA bid,” said Coach McConnell, in his third year at the Trinity men’s helm. “It set the table for the spring season. As we won our first tournament, the expectations began to change. Our players expect to do well. It provides a confidence, which, in turn, allows them to play better golf. There has been a lot of consistency on the team.”
The Tigers won the John Bohmann Memorial in Seguin, Texas; placed third at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Intercollegiate at Killeen, Texas; finished sixth at the UT-Tyler Al Jones Memorial at Tyler, Texas; and were runners-up at their Alamo City Classic at Spring Branch, Texas.
Six Trinity golfers produced scores in the 60s during the fall season, which hasn’t been the case for quite a while. The lowest score of the came from first-year golfer Eric Redeker (Katy Texas/Taylor High School), at 67. Juniors Geoffrey Setiawan (Jakarta, Indonesia; International Community School), Warren Taylor (Newtown, Pa./Peddie), and first-year Kalen Vos (Weslaco, Texas/Weslaco) produced 68s. Sophomores Erik Long-Goheen (Phoenix/Desert Vista) and Tyler Lehmann (Houston/Lamar) turned in score cards with 69s.
Setiawan brought home individual honors at the Mary Hardin-Baylor tournament, finishing four strokes ahead of the nearest competitors. Redeker shot his team-best 67 at the Bohmann Memorial. Lehmann was the tournament runner-up, Taylor was third, and Vos tied for fourth place.
In March 2011, Long-Goheen tied for first place at the Schreiner Spring Shootout. The Tigers later placed fifth at the Trinity-hosted Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at Horseshoe Bay, Texas. Lehmann earned All-SCAC First Team honors in a tie for fourth place.
An experienced player on the 2012 squad is senior Eric Davis (Greencastle, Ind./Greencastle), and bolstering the ranks is junior Blake Turner (Katy, Texas/Taylor High School). A strong sophomore competitor is Austin Jung (Lubbock, Texas/Lubbock). First-year golfer Scott Van Tilburg (Weslaco, Texas/Weslaco) and Vos were high school teammates. An International golfer joining the ranks is Felipe Benalcazar (Quito, Ecuador/Hilton Head Preparatory School, S.C.).
The spring season, while consisting of only four tournaments, will be formidable. Following the Schreiner tournament, Trinity will compete March 16-18 at the 13th Annual Jekyll Island Men’s Collegiate Invitational at Jekyll Island, Ga. Nationally ranked teams are the norm at Jekyll Island. The three-round West Region Invitational will be hosted by SCAC member Southwestern April 9-10 in Georgetown, Texas. The regular season closes with the SCAC Championship Tournament April 27-29 at the Tunica National Resort at Tunica, Miss. Rhodes is the host institution, and an NCAA bid is at stake. The three-round event will be a challenge, as four SCAC teams are ranked in the Golf Week/Nike Poll, in addition to Trinity: Oglethorpe (sixth), Centre (18th), Rhodes (22nd), and Birmingham-Southern (received votes),
The NCAA Division III Championships will be held May 15-18 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., at the Mission Inn Resort & Club.
“We will compete in more of a national schedule than last year,” Coach McConnell said. “If we play well, notoriety will come. Good performances at the four tournaments will put us in the hunt for the NCAA Tournament.”