Following a strong campaign last season under head coach Christian Newton, the Colorado State men’s golf team has the attention of the Mountain West. Now, the Rams will look to take the 2015-16 season by storm.
This offseason, a trio of Rams prepared by playing in the U.S. Amateur. Jake Staiano, Alec Boone and Kyler Dunkle all competed in the prestigious tournament, and Newton had high praise for his the three.
“We had three guys get in the U.S. Am, which was a pretty nice accomplishment if you look at some of the teams that accomplished that,” Newton said. “Playing in the world’s best amateur gold tournament can only help them gain experience.”
CSU will hit the links for the first time this season in Colorado Springs as part of the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational on Sept. 12-13 hosted by Air Force.
“It’s somewhere we’ve always opened up with, somewhere we’re comfortable,” Newton said.
CSU will then bring the action to Fort Collins for the Ram Masters Invitational. Following back-to-back second place finishes, CSU won this tournament last year, and will look to continue their recent success at home. The 54-hole tournament will once again take place at the Fort Collins Country Club.
In-state rivals UNC and DU will both be competing, but the biggest threat to the Rams may be Kansas University.
“They (Kansas) are a legitimate top-50 program,” Newton said. “We’ll have our hands full trying to beat those guys. On paper, those guys will probably be the best in the field.”
Newton is embracing the opportunity.
“We look forward to competing against those guys,” Newton said. “Any time you can play against a really good team, you get to see where you are as a team. Usually good players help bring the best out of your guys too. We look forward to the challenge.”
The Rams will close September out with a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to compete in the William H. Tucker Invitational. Colorado State will look to improve after finishing ninth in this tournament last season.
CSU opens up October with a trip to Wisconsin for Erin Hills Intercollegiate (Oct. 4-6), a tournament the Rams finished seventh in last season. This three-day tournament will be no easy task, taking place at the Erin Hills Golf Course, home of the 2017 U.S. Open.
Colorado State will finish October with the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate, then an early November trip to Hawaii for the Princeville Makai Invitational. The Makai Invitational is the last tournament CSU will compete in for the fall.
The 2015-16 campaign is filled with stiff competition and will be no walk in the park. The Rams have high expectations and the pressure is on, starting with this weekend’s Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Collegian Sports Reporter Justin Michael can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @JustinSportsCSU.