After a fourteenth place finish at the Florida Atlantic University Spring Break Championshipin Delray Beach, Fla., the men’s golf team looks to prove their worth in the Big East as they host the 2011 conference championship on April 17-19 in Palm Harbor, Fla.
The tournament will be played at Innisbrook Golf Resort, a magnificent display of four signature courses and recognized in Golf Digest’s “Top 75 golf resorts in America,” according to the Innisbrook website.
BigEast.org lists the previous winners of this historic tournament, which dates back to 1979, but one university that is not found on that list is the University of South Florida. The bulls hope to place well in the Big East tournament before they set out to play in the NCAA tournament in late May.
“We’re trying to treat this like any other tournament,” said head coach Chris Malloy, “We know that there is some added significance since this is our conference championship, but the biggest challenge in golf is to treat every shot the same, every tournament the same. A 3-wood is a 3-wood; a 7-iron is a 7-iron and a downhill putt is a downhill putt.”
USF Sophomore Devin Hernandez has been playing exceptionally well for the bulls this season, and Malloy hopes that Hernandez and the rest of the team can compete and win a Big East championship.
“I’ve been hitting it straight off the tee so far this year. I need to execute on placement this week,” Hernandez said when asked how he has been preparing for the upcoming tournament.
“We try to keep our emotions in check as a team, because that’s something Coach Malloy stresses,” said Hernandez, “We’re relaxed as a team because we’ve been playing well in practice in the past couple of weeks.”
Students, followers and supporters of USF golf are encouraged to come out next Sunday and support both the men’s and women’s programs as they compete for a chance to bring home the Big East trophy.