DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson men's golf team will begin its 2011 spring season this weekend at Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand with two days of dual match competition against the Army Black Knights. Five traditional tournaments make up the remainder of the regular season schedule before the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Championships are held April 18-20 in Braselton, Ga.
The Hatters finished inside the top 10 in all four of their tournaments this past fall, including a tie for third place at the Stetson/CFSC Invitational, their home event at Victoria Hills. Junior Sam Ryder (Longwood, Fla.) recorded top five finishes three times in four events, shot even par or better eight times in 12 rounds and led the team with a 72.5 stroke average. Senior Gabe Costa (Tequesta, Fla.) put up a 74.3 stroke average in 12 rounds as the #2 player in the lineup.
Head Coach Bob Weickel has employed sophomore Micah Jacobsen (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) and junior Andrew Schiano (Orlando, Fla.) in every tournament thus far with the fifth spot usually up for grabs in practice round qualifying. Junior Michael Stewart (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.), sophomore Adam Kipi (Oviedo, Fla.) and freshmen Matt Lawrence (Naples, Fla.) and Ed Waller (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) have all teed it up for the Hatters as well this season. Stewart's return to competition has given Stetson an emotional lift; he missed the entire 2009-10 season with serious injuries suffered in a car accident.
In addition to the Army matches Saturday and Sunday, Stetson will compete at the Charleston Shootout (Feb. 28-March 1;Charleston S.C.), Barefoot at the Beach Intercollegiate (March 6-8; Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Spring Fling Intercollegiate (March 11-13; Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.), JSU Grub Mart Intercollegiate (March 28-29; Gadsden, Ala.) and the Wofford Invitational (April 11-12; Spartanburg, S.C.) before wrapping up play at Chateau Elan Resort in Braselton, Ga. April 18-20 for the A-Sun Championships.