It’s tee time again at ETSU. The men’s golf team will resume play on Feb. 15.
“We are looking forward to a good spring,” said coach Frank Warren.
Warren has no reason to worry. ETSU has won 18 Southern Conference championships, the most by any school, and are defending the title this spring. The team’s toughest challengers include UNC Greensboro, Furman and Chattanooga.
ETSU’s top players are seniors Adrian Meronk and Gudmundur Kristjansson and junior Mateusz Gradecki.
Meronk, last year’s Conference Player of the Year, is the team leader and top-ranked player. He ended the fall season with three top 10 finishes.
Warren said he is hoping for a great spring from Kristjansson, who won the Greenbriar and Florida State tournaments last spring, and from Gradecki, who has been playing very well.
There are three players vying for the fourth and fifth spots: sophomore Cayman Ratliff and freshmen Conor Rodrigues and Geuntae Kim.
The golf team leaves Feb. 13 for their first tournament of 2016, The Prestige in La Quinta, California.
“This is the first time ETSU has ever played in this event, and it will be a challenge for our guys to play in the desert for the first time in such a strong field,” Warren said.
Among the teams they will be up against are Stanford, Duke and defending NCAA Champion LSU.
Throughout March and April, the team will play in the Northwest Classic in Canby, Oregon; the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Nashville, Tennessee; the Greenbriar Invitational in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; and the Wolfpack Spring Open in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Southern Conference Championship will be played in April in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
“It is likely that our team is now and will continue to be ranked high enough nationally to qualify for NCAA Regionals,” Warren said, “whether we win the conference title again or not.”