March 1, 2012

Golden Eagles look to build off fall momentum in spring season

Tech opens season Monday at Samford Intercollegiate

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Sometimes, in order to know where you're going, you have to look at where you've been.

Tennessee Tech men's golf coach Polk Brown certainly doesn't mind a peek in the rear-view mirror at his squad's strong finish to the 2011 fall season as the Golden Eagles prepare to open spring competition next week at the Samford Intercollegiate in Birmingham, Ala.

The Golden Eagles had a player finish in the top 10 in four of their five fall tournaments. The best part of that statistic, Brown says, is that it was three different Golden Eagles who combined to accomplish the feat.

Senior Tyler Cassetty started the run, placing third at the Murray State Invitational, then followed that up with a fourth-place finish in his next tournament, the Skyhawk Classic. In the Golden Eagles' final two tournaments of the season, sophomore Mason Griffin finished 10th at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate and sophomore Greg Kitts was sixth at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate.

"That shows that we've got multiple players capable of giving a solid contribution to our overall score," said Brown, who is in his first season at the helm of the Golden Eagles. "Sometimes it takes a while to get back in the right mindset after three or four months off, but with the success our guys had in the fall, I can tell they're ready to go. They're all excited and ready to compete."

Brown believes the Golden Eagles' schedule will leave them well-prepared to challenge for an Ohio Valley Conference title on April 26-28 at Greystone Country Club in Dickson, Tenn.

After beginning its season at the Samford Intercollegiate, Tech returns to action the next week at UT Martin's Grover Page Classic held at Jackson Country Club in Jackson, Tenn. The Golden Eagles then take a week off before heading south once again for the North Alabama Spring Classic held at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Fighting Joe course in Muscle Shoals, Ala., on March 26-27.

The Golden Eagles continue at the Grub Mart Invitational held at another Robert Trent Jones course, Silver Lakes Country Club in Glencoe, Ala., on April 9-10 and wrap up their regular season with the TSU Big Blue Intercollegiate at Hermitage Golf Course in Nashville on April 16-17.

"We're going to play some really good golf courses, and by the time the conference tournament rolls around, I think we will have seen some great competition," Brown said. "The fields we are going to see are really going to prepare us for the OVC Championship at the end of April."

Kitts and Cassetty led the Golden Eagles during the fall season, each accumulating a one-over-par 72.5 average. Griffin followed closely behind with a 74.1 stroke average.

As for season goals, Brown said he wants his club to quickly become accustomed to being in contention for tournament titles.

"Of course the goal is always to win an OVC title, but I want our guys to put themselves in position to win tournaments," he said. "We do that, and winning will take care of itself."