Men's Golf Looks to Challenge for GNAC Crown

Men's Golf Looks to Challenge for GNAC Crown

Sept. 15, 2010

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's golf team hopes that improved depth will lead to more success this season.

The Corsairs, who were picked to finish in a tie for second place in the second annual Great Northeast Athletic Conference pre-season poll, begin their season this weekend at the Middlebury's Duke Nelson Invitational Tournament.

Ten players are on the roster at the start of the season, and Head Coach Joel Baptista said that the competition was tough. "This is one of the better tryouts that we've had," said Baptista. "The quality of the competition during our three-day tryout made for some difficult decisions, and I think it brought out the best in everyone. As a result, we should have a lot of depth."

Co-captain (junior) Nick Jagoe (Westport, M/Westport HS) and (senior) Scott Woodward (Westborough, MA/Westborough HS) will lead the way. "With Nick and Scott, we have great leadership," said Baptista. "Nick is our returning captain, and Scott is a four-year member of the team who's on the Chancellor's List (3.8 semester grade point average or better). We also have (sophomore) Brandon Oldham (Mattapoisett, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS/Allegheny College/Bristol CC), who had a great tryout and put up some good numbers. We will have a number of people competing for the fourth and fifth spots on the travel roster, and I like our depth."

Several newcomers will compete with some returning veterans to be among the top five. "(Freshman) Billy Guilford (Halifax, MA/Silver Lake Regional HS) plays within himself, and has a nice short game," said Baptista. "Another freshman, Brendan Kelleher (Hopedale, MA/Hopedale HS), has been pretty consistent. We have (senior) Matt Munden (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS) back on the team after a semester absence, and he is a former member of the GNAC All-Rookie Team who has proven he can play. (Sophomore) Matt Connolly (Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield HS) returns after a great freshman season and a great contribution to the team. We also have (sophomore) Kevin Rewinski (West Springfield, MA/West Springfield HS), who has worked on his game this summer, and has lowered his stroke average three or four strokes. Another transfer student, (junior) George Gillmore (Cotuit, MA/Barnstable HS/Fairfield), has shown signs of brilliance, and I think the more George practices, the more consistency we're going to see out of him. He played his high school golf at Barnstable, which always has a strong team. (Sophomore) John Coucci (Mattapoisett, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS) returns, and we expect big things from him."

The fall schedule will help to prepare the Corsairs for the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championships; will be hosted by Rhode Island College on Halloween weekend. "We'll be spending the fall gearing up for the GNAC Championships," said Baptista. "On paper, we have plenty of depth, and we have to transfer that onto the golf course. We want to improve our stroke average from last year. We feel that we have a great 1-2-3 punch with Nick, Scott and Brandon, and we just need to fill the four and five spots. Some of our best competition will come at practice. These guys will push each other. Everyone wants to get that slot on the travel team. We have a lot of experience, but we're still young, and that bodes well for the future."

Baptista said that the opening tournament will give the team an indication of where they are. "The tournament will be a good test," said Baptista. "It will give us a chance to see where we stack up against Division III teams, and then we will have a nice break until our next tournament."