TCU Travels to Tucson for MW Men's Golf Championship
May 3, 2012
FORT WORTH — Postseason play begins for the TCU men’s golf team this weekend, as the squad travels to Tucson, Ariz., for its final Mountain West Men’s Golf Championship. Competition will be held Friday through Sunday on the Catalina Course at OMNI Tucson National Resort.
The winner of this week’s tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Championships, which will be played May 17-19 at six different national sites.
Each round of the 54-hole MW Championship will be played on OMNI Tucson National’s par-71, 7,144-yard Catalina Course. This will be the sixth straight season that the league championship will be contested at the course and the 10th time in the last five years that TCU will have participated in an event there. Teams will tee off their 18-hole rounds each day beginning at 7 a.m. PDT.
This season’s conference championship field will be one of the toughest in the history of the league. TCU, which enters the weekend ranked No. 42 nationally, is the fourth-highest-rated squad behind No. 14 UNLV, No. 15 San Diego State and No. 16 New Mexico. Colorado State (No. 67) also is ranked in the top 100 according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin national rankings.
TCU will be looking for its second Mountain West championship to match the one the squad previously won in 2009 following a playoff victory over SDSU. The Frogs placed runner up last year and has finished no lower than fifth in any of its previous six seasons as a league member.
Hitting the course for TCU this week will be freshman Julien Brun, senior Johan de Beer, junior Daniel Jennevret, freshman Thomas Mantovanini and sophomore Ian Phillips. The Frog lineup is relatively inexperienced when it comes to the conference tournament, as only de Beer (three times) and Jennevret (twice) have every competed in the event. De Beer has twice finished in the top 5 in his three appearances, in 2009 (tied for third place) and 2011 (tied for fifth place).
Leading the Frogs into the weekend are two golfers listed among the nation’s top-51 individuals according to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings in Brun (No. 10) and de Beer (No. 51). TCU is the only team in field with two golfers ranked among the nation’s top 60. Also among the top-100 are No. 26 J.J. Spaun (San Diego State), No. 37 John Catlin (New Mexico), No. 43 Derek Ernst (UNLV), No. 65 James Erkenbeck (New Mexico), No. 69 Kevin Penner (UNLV), No. 78 Alex Kang (San Diego State) and No. 79 New Mexico (Victor Perez). Jennevret is ranked No 137.
Brun owns the top stroke average among all Mountain West gofers at 70.87, a figure that is on pace to set a TCU single-season record, and is the only individual in the league who has been named a finalist for the prestigious Ben Hogan Award presented to the nation’s top golfer. The freshman’s total body of work this season has him on pace to complete what would arguably be the top season ever for a Horned Frog golfer, as he already has set school records for victories in a single season and career.
As well as Brun has played during the 2011-12 season, de Beer has actually been TCU’s most consistent leader during the spring semester. He is the only Frog to have posted top-15 finishes in each of his last six tournaments and has led the team on the leaderboard in four of seven events overall this spring. His stroke average of 71.1 this semester is nearly on par with the mark of 71.0 that Brun has carded, while he is No. 9 in the MW for the entire season in the category (72.09). De Beer’s current national ranking is 75 spots higher than where he finished as a junior (No. 126), his previous best season as a Frog.
Live results for this year’s MW Championship will be available on Golfstat.com, while a championship central page will also be featured on the official Mountain West website, TheMWC.com.