Previous success gives RU promise at invite
The Rutgers men’s golf team travels to Hartford, Conn., today for the Hartford Invitational, where head coach Rob Shutte has high expectations for his team.
“I think that all five guys can win it individually,” Shutte said. “We’re a program that is always trying to get better, but we’re also at a point where we have some talent and we try to win every tournament.”
The Scarlet Knights placed seventh out of sixteen teams last year in Hartford, as senior Doug Walters led the team with a 224 for a 15th-place finish.
Walters hopes his success from last year can help his teammates be more successful, as he wants to lead by example to help younger players improve.
“I hope to provide the new guys at the course with knowledge and game management,” Walters said. “If you have proper game management that could be the difference between first place, second place or being middle of the pack.”
Another player who hopes to continue to lead his team is Jacob Stockl, who captured first place Sept. 14 at the Rutgers Invitational. The junior produced a four-under-par scorecard, which helped his team to a third-place finish.
Stockl led the tournament in par-five and -three scoring and looks to continue his fine run of form ahead of the invitational.
“Any time you play well at any event you get a lot of confidence and hopefully it translates to next week because I’m feeling good about the game and feeling confident,” Stockl said. “If I play to my full potential I hopefully can come out on top.”
The team’s preparation focused on creating a pressure-like atmosphere and simulating tournament scenarios the players might face.
“I think our practices have been extremely intense … and our scoring average is down as a result,” Shutte said.
The team is also confident it can perform well on any golf course and highlighted taking high-percentage and aggressive shots.
“It’s a course that I think we can shoot very good scores on as a team and individually,” Stockl said. “We’re expecting very good things for this week.”
The Knights will also start sophomore Jonathan Chang, freshman Michael Howe, and senior co-captain Jonathan Renza, with Howe and Renza appearing on the course for the first time.