Men's preview: No. 29 North Texas
In the second of our breakdown of the country's 30 best men's college golf squads, we move to No. 29 North Texas:
29. North Texas
2011-2012 Golfweek rank: 31
Go-to-guy: Carlos Ortiz
Season outlook: After capturing its first conference title since 2003 and receiving back-to-back NCAA postseason berths for the first time since 1974-75, North Texas returns six of its top seven players from a year ago.
So coach Brad Stracke understandably is expecting big things.
“We have a lot of experience,” Stracke said. “This is the year I’ve been waiting for. It’s going to be exciting.”
North Texas lost just one starter from last season: Defending Sun Belt Conference medalist Ty Spinella, who led the Mean Green with a 72.52 stroke average, decided to forgo his final year of eligibility after graduating in the spring. Carlos Ortiz, Rodolfo Cazaubon and Curtis Donahoe lead a group of four returning seniors. Ortiz qualified for this year’s U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills and finished T-9 at NCAA regionals last spring, and Cazaubon was the conference medalist two seasons ago.
North Texas missed out on advancing to the NCAA Championship last season by four shots. That came after three runner-up finishes during the regular season. With better preparation and attention to detail, the Mean Green might just work their way back into the national spotlight. North Texas won four consecutive national titles in 1949-52.
“Last year I felt like we were a strong enough team,” Stracke said. “We did a lot of things we hadn’t done in a while. But this year, our goal is to get to the match play of the NCAA Championship.”
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