Men's preview: No. 28 SMU
In preparation for the upcoming college season, Golfweek is breaking down the rosters of each of its preseason top 30 teams.
2011-2012 Golfweek rank: 42
Go-to guy: Harry Higgs
Season outlook: In coach Josh Gregory’s first season in Dallas, the Mustangs might have overachieved. SMU was five shots away from making the NCAA Championship, finishing seventh at the East Regional.
“It was a vast improvement (over the previous season),” said Gregory, who returned to his alma mater after leading Augusta State to consecutive NCAA titles. “I thought we had a nice run.”
Now the Mustangs want more. SMU returns two of its top five scorers from last season – Harry Higgs, who had the team’s second-lowest scoring average in 2011-12, and Sam Fidone, a U.S. Amateur qualifier this year – and also welcomes a strong group of newcomers. Gregory brought in a top-notch recruiting class, headed by Bryson DeChambeau, who has made noise on the junior and amateur circuits this summer. Austin Smotherman and David Lee are part of the class as well.
“Those kids are very proven,” Gregory said. “They are very young, but there aren’t many kids who are more polished at their age. They’ll have their ups and downs, but by the spring they’ll no longer be freshman; they’ll be good enough to win.”
UCLA transfer Mario Clemens, a senior, also joins the squad, which has a good chance to improve on its fourth-place finish at the 2012 Conference USA Championship.
“We’re going to surprise some folks, there’s no doubt,” Gregory said. “I can’t wait. I thought it’d take four or five years to get to this point. The future is very bright."
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