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Golf teams shoot for deep run in tourney

Staff Writer

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The men’s and women’s golf teams tee off their new seasons with high hopes after last year’s successes.

After being just 11 strokes away from returning to the NCAA tournament last year, the men’s team returns two-time All-Region Jose Hernandez as well as two All-American Scholar players for this season. It is a squad that head coach Todd Ohlmeyer believes can make a deep postseason run this time around.

“I feel really good about this group of guys,” Ohlmeyer said, “I’m excited to see what happens this season.”

Entering his sixth season at St. Edward’s, Ohlmeyer’s goal remains the same: get his team to the regional tournament and play well. But while the men have qualified for the regional tournament every year for the last 10 years, they have only qualified for the national tournament three times.

“We have had some very good seasons,” Ohlmeyer said, “but one or two of them we could have done a little better.”

The men, however, are putting in the work to take that next step and qualify for the NCAA tournament. Since NCAA rules only allow for up to 20 hours of mandatory team practice per week, many of Ohlmeyer’s players are putting in an additional 10 to 20 hours of their own time.

Along with all their impressive golf skills, last year’s squad was also one of few to win the Golf Coaches Association Award for All-Academic team.

As for the women’s team, they are coming off of a tremendously successful season after finishing in fourth place at the NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Jennifer McNeil, entering her tenth season at St. Edward’s, has seen much progress in the program. After the team finished last place in the Heartland Conference tournament during her first season, they would go on and win the same tournament for the first time last year.

“It’s drastically different,” McNeil said, “just the fact of how our team has changed and how women’s golf, in general, has changed.”

The women have two returning All-Americans, senior Ryanne Haddow and junior Haley Haught, who helped lead last year’s squad to seven tournament wins. Their expectations, as well as McNeil’s, are very high for this upcoming season.

“Typically, our goals never change”, McNeil said, “we always aspire to win conference, regionals, nationals. Winning nationals would be a tremendous feat, as there are usually 15 to 20 teams playing.”

The women were ranked No. 6 in the nation in a preseason poll, and currently maintain the No. 1 overall ranking on Golfstat.com.

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Golf teams shoot for deep run in tourney