Sept. 3, 2009
By Andrea Ciotti
The 2008-09 men's golf season was one of the most impressive in UCF history. The team finished in the top-five in nine of 13 tournaments, and claimed the title at the Conference USA Championship. The Knights finished off the season ranked 15th in the country in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
The new year brings new leadership, and under the direction of head coach Bryce Wallor the Knights are prepared to take on one of the most challenging schedules in the country. How can the Knights top their impressive season? Wallor has the answer.
"I think we have an outstanding group of young men from a character standpoint. From a work-ethic standpoint, I've seen some driven young men work extremely hard. They have been very coachable. They have taken information and run with it and done a very good job. I am extremely pleased with the effort and the attitude they have been putting in," said Wallor.
Wallor brings a new philosophy and direction to his team.
"Do a little something every day and get a little better. A lot of people look at outcome goals and I am more of a process goal person. I am always more about figuring out what it is we want to do in practice and the way we want to practice and then letting the outcome things kind of fall for themselves. If you set a bunch of markers to hit and you don't hit them you can sometimes lose attention or passion for what you are trying to accomplish. I'm more of trying to figure out for our program what are the things we need to accomplish to achieve great success."
Returning this season are five players from last season's squad, headlined by senior Simon Ward (County Monagahn, Ireland) and sophomore Brad Schneider (Valrico, Fla.). Ward took medalist honors at the league championship and was named C-USA Newcomer of the Year. Schneider earned a spot on the All-C-USA Second Team and was an all-rookie team pick last season.
Other returning players include junior Jed Dirksen
(Hampton, Iowa) who helped the Knights claim the C-USA Championship. Junior Nuno Henriques
(Funchal, Portugal) who had two top-20 finishes in 2007-08, but did not play a year ago. Rounding out the returning players is Devin Spies
(Sarasota, Fla.), who played in both the NCAA Championship and NCAA Regional tournaments last season.
Welcoming three newcomers to the team, Connor Arendell (Cape Coral, Fla.), Andrew Colvin (Longwood, Fla.) and Reid Martin (Mukilteo, Wash.), Wallor will look to the older players for their experience and leadership.
"I hope Simon will lead us. He is the oldest in age and has one of the better returning scoring averages from last year so we look forward to him playing well."
The team will kick off its 2009-10 campaign on Friday, Sept. 12, at the Wolf's Run Intercollegiate in Zionsville, Ind.