Mountain Lion Golfers Poised for Spring Season

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 16, 2011

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's golf team will open the spring portion of its season on Monday sporting a pair of national rankings and in the lead to earn a sixth consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship.

The Mountain Lions are currently ranked No. 11 in the Golfstat Division II Head-to-Head rankings and No. 13 in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches' Poll. Those ranking will be tested starting Monday at the SoCal Intercollegiate Championship in Mission Viejo, Calif., where UCCS will face the best of the tough Western Region.

The early part of the spring season is always tense for UCCS, being the only school among the Top 11 that has any idea of what snow looks like. All but one of the rest are from southern tier states (Florida, California, Texas. Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma and North Carolina). The other, Western Washington, is certainly not southern but is in a temperate zone where snow rarely falls.

That's important because players on those teams can practice year-round. In winter, UCCS players are often relegated to hitting balls off of mats and bouncing them down frozen driving ranges.

UCCS enjoyed consistent play from its top four golfers during the fall, as Brian Morfeld (72.53 strokes per round), Riley Andrews (72.53), Chris Shoop (72.93) and Spencer Biersdorff (73.93) all scored well week in and week out. Identifying a fifth that can contribute scoring rounds will be key if the Mountain Lions are to compete for regional and national titles.

After the SoCal, the Mountain Lions will play at the Grand Canyon Spring Invitational March 28-29 in Phoenix. Two weeks later, UCCS will play its only Colorado-based tournament of the spring season, the Wolfpack Invitational at Walking Stick Golf Club in Pueblo.

On April 18-19, the Mountain Lions will compete in the RMAC Spring Championship at the Wigham Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz. UCCS won two of the three RMAC qualifiers in the Fall and took second in the other. Fort Lewis won once and took second twice. That means that UCCS needs only to beat Fort Lewis to continue its streak of RMAC titles that goes back to the 2005-06 season. Ironically, the last team to beat the Mountain Lions for the conference crown was Fort Lewis.

No other RMAC teams are in contention for the 2010-11 title.

Andrews is currently in the lead for the RMAC individual champion honors with a three-tournament average of 216.0. The RMAC champion will be determined by the average of the best three rounds played in the four RMAC qualifying tournaments. Since Andrews played in all three of the qualifiers to date, his score can only improve because if he shoots higher than his average, the score will be discarded in the final calculation.

UCCS currently has the top three in the race for RMAC individual champion as Andrews is followed by Chris Shoop (217.3) and Brian Morfeld (218). Fort Lewis' David Schroeder is next at 218.5 but has played in just two of the qualifiers, meaning he doesn't have the luxury of being able to discard the final tournament like the UCCS trio. Three golfers are sitting at 220 (Keenan Holt of Fort Lewis, Jim Knous of Colorado Mines and Steven Maxwell of Western New Mexico).

The NCAA Division II West/Central Super Regional will be held May 2-4 in Albuquerque. A top-five finish there would allow the Mountain Lions to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship May 17-20 at Muscle Shoals, Ala.

 

For the Golfstat rankings, click here.

The Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches' Polls will be updated by Thursday and will be available at this link.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Brian MorfeldBrian Morfeld
Brian MorfeldBrian Morfeld
Brian MorfeldBrian Morfeld
Brian MorfeldBrian Morfeld
Riley AndrewsRiley Andrews
Riley AndrewsRiley Andrews
Riley AndrewsRiley Andrews
Chris ShoopChris Shoop
Chris ShoopChris Shoop
Chris ShoopChris Shoop
Additional News Stories
November 17, 2011UCCS Ranked 10th in Coaches Poll After Fall SeasonThe final Golf World/Nike Golf Division II Coaches’ Poll of the fall season was released Wednesday with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs taking the 10th spot. The poll combines the resources of Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America.
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