Cincinnati’s youngsters pay attention early

BURLINGTON, Ky. – Doug Martin knows what it takes to win at the college level.

As a three-time All-American and member of the 1989 NCAA championship team at Oklahoma, he experienced his share of it before a back injury forced him off of the PGA Tour in the late ’90s. He’s trying to pass along that know-how to his University of Cincinnati men’s team.

Martin brought four true freshmen to Muncie, Ind., for this week’s Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational, where the Bearcats finished a surprising third.

Freshman Andrew Desmarais, a left-hander from Union, Ky., just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, tied for fourth at 3-over 213 in his college debut, one of three Bearcats among the top 10. Freshman David Tepe and junior Joe Kastelic were T-8 at 5-over 215.

Freshman Zack Bates had UC’s low 18-hole score, a second-round 69, before slipping to T-31.

Bowling Green State, led by a 1-2 finish from Drew Preston and John Powers, beat host Ball State by six shots for the team title.

At Cincinnati, which finished in the bottom half of all but one of its tournaments last year, the third-place finish out of the gate could signal a turning point in the program.

“My kids are so eager to listen, and that's what I like,” Martin, 42, said from The Golf Ranch, where he is a managing partner, while the Bearcats practiced before departing for Muncie. "They’re here to learn from me.”

They seem to be paying attention.

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