|Friday, November 5, 1999||
Volume 65, Issue 54
|No. 6 Cougar golf team to take part in Golf World
Invitational over weekend
By Jesse Lauritz
After a fourth place finish at the Jerry Pate National Collegiate Invitational last month, the UH golf team was voted as the nation's sixth best men's team by the MasterCard rankings with 271 votes.
The Clemson Tigers, who won the tournament after a one-hole playoff with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, sit at the top of the rankings with 333 votes.
Houston's James Edmonson will play a vital role in the Cougars' scheme this weekend at the Golf World Invitational at the Palmetto Dunes Course at Hilton Head, S.C.
Northwestern ranks second with 306 votes after its win at the Ping/Golfweek Preview in September. The other top five teams are Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech and Arizona State.
The Cougars will conclude their five-tournament fall schedule today through Sunday with the Golf World Invitational at the Palmetto Dunes Course at Hilton Head, S.C.
UH placed fourth at the event last year with B.J. Staten leading the way with an eighth-place finish. This year's field includes top teams Arizona State, Clemson, UCLA, Duke, Georgia Tech, UNLV, New Mexico, Texas Christian, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, South Carolina and Texas.
UH plays these teams week after week, and UH head golf coach Mike Dirks said the competition helps his players.
"Playing the top 12 teams every weekend gives us an idea of where we are in the nation and we are not that far off," Dirks said.
Even more impressive is the performance of the players without winning a tournament.
"We haven't won a tournament yet, and we are still ranked fifth in the Golf Week rankings," Dirks said.
The Cougars' fabulous foursome of Staten, Andy Sanders, Wade Ormsby and Chris Morris form a solid nucleus that can compete with any team in the nation.
"We have a lot of talent," Dirks said. "We have four really good players, and we are looking for a fifth player to step up and elevate our play."
That fifth position has seen a few players struggle to fill the vital hole, but James Edmondson will play this weekend. His best finish was 44th place in the first weekend at the Ping/Golfweek Preview.
The Cougars also received some good news when Sanders was ranked 14th and Staten 25th in the national individual rankings that came out this week.
"B.J. is having a solid year," Dirks said, "while Andy had struggled the first couple of tournaments, but he has stepped up lately."
After this weekend, the Cougars will not play again until Feb. 23 through
25 at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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