The Sam Houston State Bearkat Men’s golf team will look to top their competition as they head to Laredo, TX to compete in the two-day, 54-hole Border Olympics starting March 10.
In this upcoming tournament, the Kats will face off against some of the top teams in the country such as the University of Baylor and the University of Houston. Senior Andrew Ertel feels that going up against top contenders gives the Bearkats a chance to show what his team is about.
“In the past, we have been paired with Baylor and UH and we have beaten them before,” Ertel said. “We know we can compete. It’s about consistency. They have had the consistency longer than us, but we have been neck and neck with them before.”
This is not SHSU’s first appearance at the Laredo Country Club, as the team competes in the Border Olympics every year.
“This is my third year playing on this course,” junior Jack McCrory said. “I’m pretty familiar with it. I love the course. It’s a good track and it sets up well for me. I’m excited to go there and compete.”
Although the Kats are familiar with the course, the team still sees some difficulties with some of the holes.
“There are a few holes out there that you have to watch out for,” McCrory said. “Hole three and 18 are the ones that come to mind. The fairways are much tighter. You can’t miss it right and can’t miss it left. It’s going to be tough for everybody.”
Ertel has the same mindset as McCrory with the course’s 18 hole, but he also sees hole 17 as a potential issue.
“Hole seventeen is kind of a risk or reward par five,” Ertel said. “The eighteenth is a tough par four, that if you play hole smart and correct, you can pick up all the shots on the field there.”
The men’s golf team has had a mix of nine different players playing top five, allowing the team to show their depth and strengths. For five-year head coach Brandt Kieschnick, this is a new accomplishment for him.
“This is the first time I ever have played nine different guys in the top five,” Kieschnick said. “It’s the first in my 5 years so its been good from the standpoint of competition at home and us pushing each other. The guys know the standards that they must play to be top five. It’s really been exciting because we have had top finishes with different guys so it has really helped us a lot.”
The Bearkats will look to improve after the team placed seventh at the Louisiana Classic on Feb. 28. The Border Olympics is set to conclude on March 11.