Updated Thu, Sep 5, 2013 8:37 pm
After the disappointing 2012-13 season, head coach Bob Cooley hopes to get the Ohio Men’s Golf team back on track for the fall portion of its schedule.
This season, there are two goals the team has on its mind: to win the Mid-American Conference Championship, and to win a tournament, which the team hasn’t done since 2009.
“Our team has very good potential this year,” senior and three-time Academic All-MAC selection Brad Lucas said. “We have three freshmen who all have a lot of talent, and we have three seniors, so we have a lot of experience mixed with some good underclassmen.”
While Cooley is always coaching toward a MAC Championship, for now he is just looking for a good start from the team.
“I don’t expect miracles,” Cooley said, “but just having a good tournament at Marshall and just getting better as the year goes is what we need first.”
Cooley alluded to the struggles of the team last season, and pointed to the struggles of the seniors as being a key point. This year, Ohio has three seniors on the roster for which Cooley has high hopes in Lucas, Connor Coldwater and Phil Gieseker.
Gieseker, a redshirt senior from Saline, Mich., is a player that Cooley said could be an impact player for the Bobcats this year.
“He’s a very good player, and has a chance to be a special player for us,” said Cooley. “He blew everybody away at the qualifying.”
Gieseker had to sit out the 2012-13 season after transferring to Ohio from Oakland University, which marked the second transfer in his career. Giesker actually started out his career at Ohio in 2009-10, but decided to transfer to Oakland for personal reasons.
In Gieseker’s last season at Oakland, he finished with a stroke average of 73.50, which would have been the best on last year’s Ohio team by two strokes.
As of now, the Bobcats have four of the five lineup spots filled, with Lucas and Gieseker to go with two freshmen in Ty Herriott and Peyton White.
Cooley is just looking for a fifth guy to step up, which included the walk-on qualifier that was held on Sept. 1, which was open to any student with a handicap of four or less.
As the team prepares for the Marshall Invitational on Sept. 9, Cooley said one area of the game he would like to see the team improve is chipping and putting because “it makes up for a lot of mistakes. Look at the PGA Tour, the top 10 guys are the guys who can putt the best.”
Aside from the Marshall Invitational, the Bobcats have three more tournaments for the fall portion of its season, which include the Firestone Invitational in Akron on Oct. 7-8, and the Cobra Puma Invitational in Fort Myers, Fla., on October 27-28.
The Bobcats play the remaining eight tournaments in the spring, starting with a match against Bowling Green at Bay Hill Country Club in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 8, and finishing with the MAC Championship beginning May 1 at the Prarie View Golf Course in Carmel, Ind.