April 19, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andy Seeley
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) – Four Conference USA men’s golf programs are ranked in the Top 50 on the eve of the league’s championship event, slated for Sunday-Tuesday in Texarkana, Ark.
At No. 37, UCF is right in the thick of the favorites, heading into the tournament. SMU is the 20th-ranked team in the nation, while Houston is No. 29 and Tulsa is 43rd. But the Knights have experienced success against Conference USA foes this season and have some history on their side as they approach Sunday’s first tee time.
The Knights are 6-1 against C-USA opponents during the 2012-13 regular season. UCF has won three of the last four C-USA Championships, coming in as the tournament runner-up last season.
“I think they should be fairly confident,” Knights head coach Bryce Wallor said of his squad. “We’re 29-1 in my tenure at the conference championship. I think in the last four years, they’re 39-1 at the conference championship. I think they’ve certainly earned the respect of the other teams there.”
Junior Greg Eason, who has been the team’s top golfer for most of the season, was part of a C-USA Championship squad as a freshman and would like to have that feeling again.
“Most of us have been there and won one,” Eason said. “It’s a nice feeling. It’s nice to see Bryce happy. It’s been a long year. But hopefully, we’re about ready for some victory.”
One of the reasons victories haven’t been as plentiful as the Knights would have liked this season is team inconsistency. An individual or a couple individuals almost always play well at tournaments, but the entire team has rarely been able to put solid performances together in the same event.
“This season has been a lot of good individual play,” Wallor said. “But for our team, it hasn’t been where everybody has jelled at one time. That’s the thing we’re looking for. We know we have some talent. We’ve got it in a lot of different areas. It’s just about getting them all doing it at once.”
According to Wallor, knowledge of the course, potential impact of weather and preparation in practice this week has his team in a good state of mind.
“We worked in practice this week on flighted golf shots, keeping the ball down for the wind,” Wallor said. “Obviously, when you go to play in Texas – or Arkansas, right on the border there – you’re going to expect to see some wind. In the past few years we’ve seen winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour. Thankfully, we’ve had a couple nice mornings of practice where it has been pretty windy and we’ve gotten to experience what we wanted to do. We’ve had success there before. We know the golf course. I like our chances.”