Rutgers heads to Wisconsin to open season at Badger Invitational
The Rutgers men’s golf team is set to kick off the 2017-2018 season as it heads to Madison, Wisconsin this Sunday to begin its first of five tournaments this fall, the Badger Invitational.
The tournament will take place at University Ridge Golf Course and will be a 54-hole, three-round, team stroke play event. In addition to the University of Wisconsin, who is hosting the event, the Knights will be going up against 10 other schools: No. 16 Texas A&M, Oakland University, UAB, Nevada, Notre Dame, Iowa State, South Dakota State, Illinois State, Loyola-Chicago and Butler. Rutgers placed 11th in the same tournament last September.
After a shaky 2016 season, the Knights rebounded last spring as they rattled off five straight top-10 finishes — fifth, ninth, sixth, ninth and eighth respectively in their five tournaments. They look to build on that and start their season off strong in Madison this upcoming Sunday morning when the tournament’s first round begins at 8 a.m. After that, the second round will start on Monday at 8 a.m. and the third and final round will be on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.
Even with losing three seniors in Michael Howe, Ryan Rose, and Chase Wheatley, Rutgers is coming into this season with a strong roster after bringing in three freshmen in Oliver Whatley, Christopher Gotterup and Putt Sridama, who is making his way to Piscataway from Thailand.
In addition to the newcomers, the Knights will have three returning seniors in Jack Panagos, Matt Holuta and Toks Pedro. Both Pedro and Holuta were named to the Preseason All-Big Ten list this summer for the third consecutive year. Along with the two senior captains, sophomore Tony Jiang was also honored with a spot on the conference list for the first time in his young career.
Rounding out the rest of Rutgers will be juniors Matthew Mourin and Matthew Walsh as well as sophomore Adam Gray.
Head Coach Rob Shutte is entering his fifth season at the helm while assistant coach Austin Eoff is entering his first full season fresh off an illustrious playing career at Purdue. Eoff was a four-time All-Big Ten selection and represented Purdue at the 2017 NCAA Championships during his time as a Boilermaker.
With a strong, qualified, and experienced coaching staff combined with a talented roster which includes young new faces, seasoned veterans and an impressive supporting cast, things are looking up for the Knights.
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