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Can CSU men’s golf build on last season’s success?

The Colorado State University men’s golf team looks to begin the new season right where they left off in March, claiming the 19th ranking in the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll when the season was cut short.

The Rams played just six events last season, winning threea sixth consecutive Ram Masters Invitational victory and victories at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate and the Saint Mary’s Invitational.

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We’re going to have a highly competitive team with a lot of competition and a lot of fight for those top five spots.”-Christian Newton, Colorado State men’s golf head coach

In his eight years at the helm, head coach Christian Newton has shown he can not only lead a successful and competitive golf team but work together with CSU to create a great environment for players and a winning culture that produces success year in and year out. He has led the Rams to three consecutive runner-up finishes in the Mountain West, including a 2018 campaign in which he received Mountain West Coach of the Year honors.

“I think a lot of it has to do with a foundation of some pretty solid Colorado kids and then being able to recruit internationally well as well as having all the facilities and resources they need to get better,” Newton said. “You have that foundation built, and that foundation comes with players like our guys and those facilities where they feel like their game can continue to get better.” 

Another key aspect to the Rams’ success is playing the best teams in the country, to both showcase their ability on a bigger stage and allow their players to hone their craft against the highest level of competition. Once the “foundation” has been established, the next step is to elevate the level of competition.

“Then you’re able to add the scheduling component, which is a huge piece of it,” Newton said. “You have to be able to get into the best events and play against the best teams because that both attracts talent and helps your current guys get better. It’s that old adage of ‘iron sharpens iron.’ If they can’t go play against the best players then they don’t really know what the bar is.”

This philosophy is proving to be successful, as the Rams’ resume during Newton’s time in Fort Collins speaks for itself. Looking ahead to the 2020-21 season, the Rams look to continue their high level of play.

“We get to keep a senior All-American in AJ Ott and then even add two great freshmen,” Newton said. “We’re going to have a highly competitive team with a lot of competition and a lot of fight for those top five spots. I think our guys will be able to embrace that part of it because it’s going to be hard to get into the five.” 

It’s that old adage of ‘iron sharpens iron.’ If they can’t go play against the best players then they don’t really know what the bar is.”-Christian Newton, Colorado State men’s golf head coach

In addition to AJ Ott, the Rams return their other All-American, Davis Bryant, as the two find themselves at the top of the leaderboards once again this year. Last year, the pair combined for five top-five finishes and each led CSU in scoring in two events. 

“They are everything I wanted to build this program on,” Newton said of his two All-Americans. “They’re tough, they’re conscientious, humble, hardworking and they take care of their business. They are everything that you would want in a teammate. They’re what you would want CSU’s quarterback to look like.”

With their best players returning, new talent coming in and a whole roster anxious to get out on the course and compete, the Rams will begin the season at full speed, expecting another successful year and a shot at competing in regionals once again.

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Owen Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @OwenStephens16.

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