Feb. 14, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Head coach Alan Murray is in his first season at the helm of the UAB men’s golf program, but one would not know it after the fall season the Blazers just had. In the fall, UAB had two individual medalists and finished in the top three of every event the team participated in, propelling them a No. 8 national ranking entering the spring season.
“The simple, plain truth is that we have five really good players,” Murray said of the starting five. “It is not a surprise to see them play well. They are good kids, they work hard, and they really want to be good. We will always have a chance when you have that.”
UAB’s starting lineup comprises of seniors Sam Love, Wilson McDonald, and Thomas Sutton, junior Paul Dunne, and sophomore Martin Rohwer. Each member of the lineup owns a sub-72.0 stroke average heading into the first tournament of the spring and Dunne and McDonald each won an event in the fall.
“If someone plays bad, it is okay,” stated Sutton. “You have five guys on our team that can play. It is a lot less pressure on the team because any of the five of us can win a tournament.”
The program did not experience a lull in the transition from legendary former head coach Alan Kaufman to Murray in the fall. Murray credits much of this to his experience as an assistant coach under Kaufman.
“That has definitely been an advantage for me,” added Murray. “I am familiar with their game, personalities, and everything. After being with them for three years, you know what makes them tick and you can help them.”
Kaufman, in his first season of retirement, has kept an eye on the Blazers and could not be happier for their successes on the course.
“It is a thrill,” said Kaufman. “I have always said if they are successful, then it’s my fault. If they mess up, it is Alan’s fault. It is fun going out there to watch them play and seeing their skills. I see them getting better. I look forward to following them, it is fun.”
The UAB men’s golf team kicks off the spring season at the SunTrust Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. from Saturday, Feb. 15 – Sunday, Feb. 16. The 14-team field boasts six nationally ranked programs.
“We have got the SunTrust Gator Invitational up first and that has a really good field,” stated Murray. “We have played there every year since I’ve been here. The golf course is really good, kind of a thinking man’s course.”
UAB will play its first and second rounds on Saturday at the Mark Bostick Golf Course on the campus of the University of Florida. Play will conclude on Sunday morning at the par-70, 6,701-yard course with the third and final round of play.
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