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Volume 71, Issue 12, Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Sports

Cougar golf primed for new season

Team will keep all of its key players this year; many spent summer refining their skills

By Louie Vera
The Daily Cougar

The University of Houston golf team rededicated themselves in the offseason to improve their games and with that, head coach Vince Jarrett foresees a promising season.

"I look for a very good year this year," Jarrett said. "We didn't lose anybody last year; and we improved tremendously last year; and I think we will continue to improve this year.


Senior Zach Mowbray, one of the top Cougar golfers, hopes to improve his game when Houston begins its season next week at the Cobb/Ferrell Mean Green classic.
Cougar File Photo

"I think the guys have improved a lot. This summer, they dedicated themselves to practicing and working hard."

With the evident improvement of the golf team, Jarrett has his sights set on a national championship, but he is also cognizant of the difficult steps to achieving that goal.

"My specific goals are always the national championship," Jarrett said. "But to get there, there are steps. You have to be one of the top eight in our district, which is one of our goals. Actually, we want to be in the top two or three to assure that.

"(The) second one is to win conference, (because) we haven't won it in a while; third is to go to regionals and play well at regionals and advance to the national championship."

All of the key players for the team have returned including senior captain Zach Mowbray, who was the first Cougar since May of 2003 to win a tournament. Mowbray shot career-best scores of 69, then 68 to capture the 2004 Cobb/Ferrell Mean Green Classic title.

"Zach Mowbray has been our captain for a couple of years," Jarrett said, "He kind of struggled last spring, but he has rededicated himself for his senior year and has played really well. "(Kevin) Newman has been playing really well, and (we're) looking forward good things from Kevin. (Juniors) Ricky Romano and Pablo Acuna both had good years last year, and both have been working hard all summer, getting ready for the season to start."

The team will open the season at the Cobb/Ferrell Mean Green Classic where it will be defending its title as a team and Mowbray will defend his own title.

Jarrett says the golf course suits his team well because it seems to be more of a position golf course, which is where his team excels.

"We will be there defending our championship," Jarrett said. "The golf course is great, and there is a lot of water, and you have to position the ball a lot to different places; it's a really good ball-striking golf course, and that's where it sets up for us, because we are really a good ball striking team. 

"Our ability to hit the ball where we needed to hit it was the key (to winning last year)."

With a few years under their belts, Jarrett said that most of his team members have matured as golfers, and buckled down to have a good season.

"I think the first year they were here they didn't understand some of the things that happen," Jarrett said. "But this year, a lot of them said, I've got things I have to do for golf next season, so I'm going to dedicate myself (during the) summer (to) playing a lot of tournaments, (practicing) a lot and (getting) ready for the season,' and most of them have done that."

The Cougars will begin their season at the Cobb/Ferrell Mean Green Classic, hosted by the University of North Texas, on Sept 12-13.
 

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