Men’s golf ready for championships

The No. 17 Horned Frogs men’s golf program will travel to The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. for the NCAA National Championships for their 15th appearance Tuesday.

The last time that the NCAA National Championships were held at The Honors Course came during the 1996 season where the Frogs participated in the field and finished 18th overall.

The Frogs will be paired with San Diego and Kent State during the first two rounds of action at the NCAA National Championships.

“This is what we have been preparing for all season,” said head men’s golf coach Bill Montigel. “This is a very challenging course with obviously a field that consists of the best of the best. We have played a lot of them several times throughout the year with success, and I feel that if we play our game then we will be in good shape.”

The Frogs’ lineup will mirror their NCAA South Central Regional rotation in senior Travis Woolf, sophomores Johan de Beer and Eli Cole along with freshmen Daniel Jennevret and Pontus Gad. The Frogs will be sending one of the youngest lineups at the NCAA National Championships.

“I’m confident in this lineup, and I believe that they give us a great shot of being in contention at the national championships. This is the same lineup that we had at regionals, and they performed extremely well so I’m excited to see how this young group comes together at nationals,” said Montigel.

Woolf will be competing in his second consecutive NCAA National Championship and is coming off a season that saw him earn All-Mountain West Conference accolades for the first time in his career. The TCU senior is recently off a 14th-place showing at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships and is currently ranked first on the team with a 73.27 strokes average.

“Travis has a wealth of experience and is by-far our most-experienced player. I know that he wants to play his very best since this will be in his last trip with the program. He’s been one of our most consistent players that we’ve had, and he’s worked extremely hard all season to get to this point,” said Montigel.

In his sophomore season, de Beer garnered All-Mountain West Conference honors for the second consecutive campaign and is currently ranked second on the team with a 73.40 strokes average. The Pretoria, South Africa, native has posted seven top-25 showings, including four top-10 finishes this season. In his last outing, de Beer finished fourth overall at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships.

“Johan has been playing extremely well all season, and I’m looking for him to have a great tournament at nationals. He gained a lot of national championship experience last season, and he is a play that I’m counting on to put together some really low scores,” said Montigel.

Jennevret will be entering his first NCAA National Championship competition, but the TCU freshman is playing his best golf at the right time as he is coming off a fifth-place showing at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships. In his first season with the Frogs, Jennevret has recorded a 74.85 strokes average to go along with three top-10 showings.

“Even though Daniel is only a freshmen, he has played a lot of golf for us this season, and I think that he’s playing some of his best golf at the right moment. He has played on a lot of big stages before, but this will be his first time at the national championships so he just needs to play his game, and he’ll be in good shape,” said Montigel.

Gad will also be making his first appearance at the NCAA National Championships, but brings a lot of experience to the table for the Frogs as the TCU freshman has appeared in 11 tournaments. This season, Gad has recorded a 75.73 strokes average and has notched three top-25 showings in his rookie campaign.

“Pontus has gradually improved in all facets of his game throughout the season and needs to stay within himself and play his game. Pontus is in the same boat as Daniel because he’s played in some of the biggest amateur tournaments in the world, but this will be his first experience at nationals. He’s extremely talented, and we’ll need him to put together three solid rounds for us,” said Montigel.

Cole rounds out the trio of Frogs that will be competing in his first NCAA National Championship competition, and the TCU sophomore is coming off a 43rd-place showing at the NCAA South Central Regional. This season, Cole has competed in five tournaments where he has carded a 75.00 strokes average.

“Eli has really improved all season, and he has been right there all season in making the traveling tournament. I have been telling all of the guys this season that if they work hard then they’ll get an opportunity. Eli has worked hard and has made the most of his opportunities so I’m excited to see what he can do at the national championships,” said Montigel.

The NCAA National Championships will consist of 54 holes of stroke play over the first three days to crown an individual champion and provide a cut of eight teams. Those eight, seeded by their finish in the medal format, will play single-elimination match play over the following three days to determine a national champion.

The first round of the NCAA National Championships will be held on Tuesday at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn.