Fresh off of a Southern Conference championship, ranking 25th of all-time and a NCAA Regional startup, ETSU men’s golf opened their season at the Rod Myers Invitational this past Saturday and Sunday in Durham, North Carolina.

Head Coach Fred Warren takes on a challenge as out of the eight total players, he takes in three freshmen newcomers.

The Bucs graduated Mateusz Gradecki (Obirniki Slaskie, Poland) this past year, who finished runner-up in the SoCon men’s golf Most Valuable Player award selection. Gradecki is now overseas playing professionally where he has won the Polish Open and placed 10th in his most recent tournament on Aug. 11 at the Dutch Amateur Championship.

He spoke on each of his three freshman newcomers, Shiso Go (Kanagawa, Japan), Jack Rhea (Jonesborough, Tennessee) and Austin Carter (Kingsport, Tennessee) and how he expects they will help them this season. “They all will contribute for us this year,” Warren said.

Go placed highest out of the freshmen at the Rod Myers Invitational.

“Shiso Go is a very skilled player and placed very well this weekend as he finished 26th in a strong field,” Warren said.

“Rhea is very, very talented and is gifted physically,” Warren said. “He will get much better with more experience and has the chance to be one of the top players out of Northeast Tennessee has seen in many years.”

The Bucs finished 11th out of 12 teams, but Warren expanded on how the team played and how they competed with their other match-ups.

“We were a competitive team the first day through the first 36 holes; we actually finished third or fourth and had a chance to finish first on the first day,” Warren said. “The second day was a little rough for us, and I think the inexperience with our roster had to do with that as only one player has played on that course before.”

With three freshmen and only one senior, the Bucs can only get better from here as they gain more experience through each match. As they have their eyes set on the Southern Conference tournament, they’re sure to rank up as the season goes on.

The men’s golf next match starts on Sept. 29 in the Louisville Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Kentucky.