Wallor's Wisdom



Feb. 5, 2013

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By Andy Seeley

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) -- The UCF men’s golf team is in final preparations for the beginning of its spring schedule. The Knights are currently ranked No. 46 by Golfstat and No. 49 by Golfweek. Head coach Bryce Wallor sat down with UCFAthletics.com recently to discuss his team’s fall performance, the break between the fall and spring schedules and goals for the spring.

Now that you’ve had some time to look back, what was your take on how the team performed in the fall?
“Individually, I think some guys really improved. Kyle Wilshire played some very good golf for our team when we needed him to. Obviously, Greg Eason had an outstanding fall – nationally-ranked player (currently No. 21 by Golfweed). Practice has been great for him. He’s working really hard and paying attention. Ricardo Gouveia got some good experience internationally. He played in the World Amateur, played in a European Tour event and made the cut. So, a lot of guys did a lot of good things in the fall and I think our program is moving in the right direction.”

How does your team handle the break between spring and fall? What does the break do for the team?
“I think the break is important. Because we’re a Florida school, our guys push it from the time we come back (in early January). We run all the way to the end of November. So, first the break is about getting some rest, giving the body a little rest. Sometimes, there are some nicks, dings, little injuries – lower back, wrist, arms. Just getting them healthy, getting them refreshed. We do a meeting at the end of every fall, kind of assessing each player individually, from practice plans to statistically where they should improve and what they should go work on. Then, it’s their job to get out and begin working on it. We began practice about 10 days ago and we’re hopefully going the right direction.”

Where is your team headed into the spring season, compared with where you want them to be?
“That’s kind of hard to tell. We’ve had three players who have separated themselves and we’ll see that in their qualifying scores. Then, we’ve had some other guys fighting for lineup spots. It’s been competitive. Some of it hasn’t been the greatest of golf, but I think the competitive side of it for them is very important. Everyone is very nervous coming out, trying to play for their spot. It’s new. Some guys had to go home to the snow if they don’t live here year-round. But I think they’re doing the right things. They’re getting better.”

You mentioned three players who have separated themselves. Who are they and how have they done so?
“So far, at the start of this spring, just in qualifying scores, Greg Eason, Ricardo Gouveia and Jose Joia have all really come out and looked sharp – hit the golf ball well, putted and chipped well, shot very, very good scores in qualifying. I think it’s just from work ethic. I seem them every day. They’re out here practicing, they’re out here working hard. They’re working on the right stuff. They’re asking the right questions in practice and getting better.”

What are your thoughts on the first tournament of the spring?
“The first tournament of the spring is always a little bit of a wildcard. You haven’t competed. Although, I will say Ricardo and Greg just went and played in the Jones Cup, so it was really nice for two of our players to get off to a quick start and get an event under their belts, individually. Now, it’s just about the team coming out and seeing where we stand. You really never know in practice where you are. Obviously, game day situations, you’ll find out where you are. I certainly feel we’re a good team and we’ll see where we are in a few weeks.”

What are the team’s goals for the spring and the remainder of the season?
“Obviously, the goals for the spring are to build for the conference (championship). We’re doing everything we can right now, from a technical standpoint to make sure we’re getting better for April. We’re focused on playing the best we can right now, but we do have some technical stuff in mind, where it’s a building process. We’ll try to get to the beginning of April and have everything that we want to with each player cemented, worked on and then see what kind of run we can make towards conference and the regional championship.”