Men's Golf Looks Toward Brighter Future
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (May 13, 2018) – North Carolina A&T men’s golf hopes to mirror the success of what women’s golf did in its second season.
N.C. A&T men’s golf closed out their inaugural varsity season with an eighth-place finish at the 2018 PGA Minority Championship played at the par-72, 6,854-yard Wanamaker Golf Course at the PGA Village on Sunday as the tournament concluded with nine holes played on the back nine after the teams played nine emergency holes Saturday to avoid the potential of inclement weather.
Men’s golf shot a 967 for the tournament after shooting a final-round 327. Bethune-Cookman ran away with the tournament by shooting a 10-under 854. They were followed by Savannah State (911), Incarnate Word (918), Florida A&M (919) and Alabama A&M (945).
There will be a definite need to replace senior Luis Acevedo. Acevedo had another solid tournament. He finished tied for ninth after a final-round 77. He was 9-over for the tournament which included a second-round even-par 72. Acevedo by far was the low scorer on the Aggies inaugural men’s team.
Acevedo’s play on the course coupled with having men on the team who represent the school well makes N.C. A&T head coach Richard Watkins’ job easier as he looks to recruit golfers to help the men’s program make the similar progress the women’s program made in the second year where they won two tournaments and finished second in five other events.
“Some of the guys we've been able to attract are really good players. These gentlemen being who they are, has really helped our program attract some quality players,” said Watkins. “They were signed because of what we're doing and how we're doing it. We've got some high-quality people in this program and when we bring players on campus and they have a chance to meet these men and they're impressive. They want to be their teammates. Now we have to move them in the direction of being better players. That's what competition is all about.”
Watkins recently announced the singing of Xavier Williams (Boling Spring Lakes, N.C., South Brunswick HS) and Diego Gonzalez Barrios (San Luis Potosi, Mexico). Watkins said he is looking to add three or four more golfers to his recruiting class going into the 2018-19 season.
Eligibility remains for four of his golfers from this season in Cameron Bryant, Edward Trent Austin, Casey Lindo and Cody Lissner. Lissner finished with a final-round 80 and closed out the tournament tied for 25th. The other two scores that counted for N.C. A&T was an 84 from Trent and an 86 from Lindo.
“The men will be stronger next year. They played hard and worked hard on their games throughout the season,” said Watkins. “This was a transition year for many of them. They got more competitive and now they understand what they have to do to compete and improve.
Sometimes you don’t know what the level of competition is until you jump out there in it. It can catch you off guard. We see a lot of good golfers, a lot of good golf courses and a lot of long golf courses. It takes a while to adjust. The troubles we went through this year, will benefit us next year.”