Arkansas Opens Season with Notre Dame Invitati
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorback golf team will begin the 2004 fall campaign this weekend when they travel to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Invitational. Arkansas is taking a very young lineup to the three-day tournament that includes one sophomore, one redshirt freshman and three true freshmen.
“The main reason were going to this tournament is because it is the site of the NCAA Central Regional,” Arkansas head coach Mike Ketcham said. “We have such a young team I think it is important for them to see and play three rounds on this course. It will play a huge role at regionals and help them get some experience. This time of the year coaches and golfers are all excited to get started.”
Sophomore Matt Bortis is leading the group as one of UA’s top golfers. He played in 11 tournaments in 2003-04 and his stroke average of 73.6 was second only to All-American Andrew Dahl. He brings valuable experience to the Hog team, as he was also the team’s top finisher in four tournaments last year.
Redshirt freshman Scotty Campbell played in the first two fall tournaments of 2003, but suffered a lower back injury and was granted a medical redshirt for the interrupted season. The Conway, Ark., native has a powerful swing and is looking forward to returning to the greens.
Allen McFerran, Will Osbourne and Jason Turner will all be making their Razorback debuts as true freshmen. McFerran and Turner are both Arkansas products from Fort Smith and Little Rock, respectively. McFerran was the 2003 state champion, while Turner earned four all-state honors. Osbourne is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas, and he was also a state champion.
Arkansas is entering the tourney as the highest ranked team after they were placed at 26th in the Sept. 8, Golfweek/Sagarin Men’s Team Ratings. Fourteen additional schools will be joining the Hogs, including Colorado (34), Indiana (48), Iowa State, Kent State (45), Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, SMU (33), Texas A&M (37), Texas Tech (43), Toledo (35), Tulsa (32) and Xavier.
The Notre Dame Invitational is being played on two different courses. The first round will be held just across the state line in Bridgman, Mich., at the par 71, 7,011-yard Lost Dunes Golf Club. The final two rounds will be contested back in Notre Dame, Ind., at the par 71, 6,905-yard Warren Golf Course and a practice round will be held on Thursday, Sept. 16.
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