HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The 2012-13 men's golf season begins Monday for Miami University when it travels to Huntington, W.Va. for the Marshall Invitational. The tournament will take place at the Guyan Golf and Country Club, and will feature teams playing 36 holes on Monday, followed by one final round of 18 holes on Tuesday.
Second-year Head Coach Zac Zedrick welcomes back all seven letterwinners from last year's squad. He bring in four talented freshmen for this season, which will help increase competition and provide for more lineup options.
"Overall, I've been incredibly pleased with what I've seen since we got started a couple of weeks ago," said Zedrick. "The level of investment in this program is just fantastic right now. The goal when I started last August was for everyone to come back in August 2012 and want to be here, fired up about the season and feeling a genuine attachment to the program, who we are, and what we're working toward. That goal's been accomplished."
Seniors Brett Tomfohrde and Ben Peacock, along with redshirt junior Mark MacDonald, are being counted on to lead the squad. Peacock was the team's top golfer last season, averaging 74.85 strokes per round, while competing in every tournament. Tomfohrde and MacDonald have continued to improve each season and each found significant success competing as amateurs over the summer. Tomfohrde place third in the 2012 Illinois Open, a professional-level event, while MacDonald won the Columbus District Golf Association Amateur Championship.
"Even though it's only been a couple of weeks, I can't describe how pleased I am with the leadership Mark, Ben, and Brett have shown thus far," said Zedrick. "They've taken complete ownership of this program and mentoring the underclassmen, helping them get acclimated to our culture and how we function. I'm just very proud of them for that."
After a spirited qualifying week, representing the RedHawks at Marshall will be Tomfohrde, Peacock and MacDonald, along with sophomore Scott Cahill and junior Austin Kelly. While none of the newcomers cracked the lineup this week, Zedrick already believes their presence has pushed the team to improve.
"We had an incredibly competitive qualifier the past two weekends and I'm completely confident in any combination of five players right now based on what I've seen at home," said Zedrick. "The depth is pushing the boys not only during qualifying, but every day in practice and that's what we need to be as competitive on the road as we can be."
In addition to host Marshall, Miami will see Mid-American Conference rivals Bowling Green, Ohio and Toledo at the tournament. Local rivals Cincinnati, Dayton, Wright State and Xavier will also be there. Rounding out the 16-team field is Cleveland State, Eastern Kentucky, Richmond, Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky, William & Mary and defending Marshall Invitational champion Ohio State.
"I've never been to Guyan Country Club before, but I've heard nothing but good things about it," commented Zedrick. "It's a shotmaker's golf course and there are a ton of birdie opportunities out there. Historically, the scores have been low and you have to be comfortable being under par. We've had some guys under par and in the 60's during qualifying, so I know we're capable of being comfortable on a golf course that yields some birdies."
It will be a busy week for the RedHawks as they will participate in their second tournament the following weekend. Miami will travel to Zionsville, Ind. for the Wolf Run Intercollegiate, Sept. 15-16, playing 36 holes on Saturday, Sept. 15 and one final round of 18 holes on Sunday, Sept. 16.