Published in the April 26, 2017 issue of The Bells
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Men’s Golf team rallied together to win their 7th American Southwest Conference Championship title in the program’s history on Wednesday April 19 in Kerrville, Texas.
The Cru had a team total score of 844, beating the previous UMHB record of 850.
“We’re thrilled. It’s exciting because of all the hard work that the guys put in to get here,” Men’s golf head coach Jordan Cox said. “They set a goal and worked so hard to get to this place. The other thing that’s kind of a factor in all of this is that there is such a legacy of success in the program. So for these guys to continue that legacy and to win that trophy, there’s a lot of satisfaction for a lot of people that has come from it and it makes everyone feel really good to continue that legacy that has been left.”
Senior Mats Heien stole the spotlight in the tournament, shooting a 64, 69 & 68 for the UMHB record-breaking tournament total of 201 and was able to finish 15 under par.
He also earned ASC All-Conference First Team honors and individual medalist honors.
“It was incredible to watch a perfect card, shooting 64 the first round and following that the same exact day and shooting 69. His demeanor throughout the entire tournament was fantastic,” Cox said. “He was stellar, I mean he was record-setting, so it was absolutely incredible.”
However, each member of the team played a vital role in the Cru’s ability to come out on top this season.
“It has truly been a team effort all season,” Cox said. “We have had different players at different times during the season kind of step forward with their game and help us at various times. I think that’s one of the things that has made our squad so tight. They’re good friends and they are now extremely successful as a golf team. They all pull each other together and keep moving forward.”
This team has proved to be very successful this season, but Coach Cox believes that their best attributes go beyond just their talent on the golf course
“Work ethic and desire have to be right at the top of the list,” Cox said. “They have a lot of qualities as golfers and a gigantic work ethic and desire to be successful at it. So, those things spill over into their game. It also spills over into the classroom as well. We have the highest GPA of any team in the athletic department, which is over 3.5. These guys just pull each other along and encourage each other to be their very best.”
While the Cru is looking to finish this season up with a national title, the coach can’t help but look forward toward the future of the program.
“We’d like to finish this season first with a NCAA championship,” he said. “We have one more tournament that we need to focus on. However, as a coach, it is sad to see the season end. We are losing so many of our guys because they are seniors and we are sad to see them go. They are great guys and incredible golfers.”
But the coach is looking forward to bringing in new players who are just as enthusiastic about the game.
“They see what’s happening now and they want to be a part of it and continue it, so I’m excited that they are so excited to continue the legacy this team has left,” he said.
The NCAA National Championship Tournament will take place on May 16-19 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, which is about an hour north of Orlando.