Frogs Look to Defend Crown at National Invitational Tournament
March 20, 2009
The TCU men's golf team will return to the links for the first time in a month when the Horned Frogs look to defend their crown at the National Invitational Tournament hosted by the University of Arizona at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club beginning on Sunday.
The Frogs collected the tournament championship a season ago after holding off a surging Kent State program and posting a team score of 10-under-par. At the National Invitational Tournament, the Frogs had four players finish in the top-25, including a trio of top-10 showings.
This season, the Frogs - who enter the tournament ranked 17th in the nation in the latest Golfstat rankings - will look to repeat their crown against a strong field that includes six teams in the top-50 in the country, including Arizona, Texas and Baylor.
In addition to the strong field, the Frogs will square-off against several Mountain West Conference opponents in UNLV (11th), Colorado State (32nd), New Mexico (46th) in a preview of the conference championship set to held at the very same Omni Tucson National Golf Club at the beginning of May.
"This is a tournament that I really enjoy for a few reasons," said head men's golf coach Bill Montigel. "First, it helps that this is where the conference championship will be played and we are seeing several conference opponents in the field. Secondly, this is coming during spring break so we are able to come out to the course a little early, and the guys can concentrate on nothing but golf for a few days. This is really perfect timing for us."
The Frogs will send out four familiar faces in the lineup in James Sacheck (The Woodlands, Texas | Zionsville H.S.), Johan de Beer (Pretoria, South Africa | Pretoria Boys' H.S.), Scott Roudebush (Austin, Texas | Austin H.S.) and Tom Hoge (Fargo, N.D. | Fargo South H.S.) while the fifth and final spot in the lineup is still being decided upon in Travis Woolf (Fort Worth, Texas | Paschal H.S.) and Alexander Knappe (Brulin, Germany | Berufs H.S.).
"I think that the guys know that they need to go out there and perform. Right now, we do not have too many spots locked in stone and have several players back home that are trying to earn a spot in the lineup. I believe in the lineup that we are putting out there, but in the same respect, these guys need to perform in order to continue to be part of the lineup," said Montigel.
Sacheck is coming off a pair of top-30 finishes in the first two tournaments of the spring season and has played very well in the final round of each of those contests. In total, the TCU senior captain has tallied five top-25 showings, including four top-15 finishes and is ranked second on the team with a 74.29 strokes average.
"James has played very well this season, and right now is the time where he usually begins to play his best golf. He has played extremely well in the final round in each of the last two tournaments, but needs to put together three solid rounds. I have a feeling that he is poised for a very strong tournament out here," said Montigel.
De Beer enters the National Invitational Tournament with five consecutive top-30 showings, including a pair of top-10 finishes. The winner of one tournament this season (The Prestige at PGA WEST), the TCU newcomer is ranked first on the team with a 73.82 strokes average and has been one of the most consistent golfers for the Frogs.
"Johan has been very consistent this season, and he never allows himself to get too high or too low. He has a great attitude and works extremely hard so it's fun to see him out there. He needs to continue to be solid for us to have a chance of winning," said Montigel.
After missing the first tournament of the spring campaign, Roudebush returned to the lineup and posted the best finish for the Frogs at the John Hyat Collegiate Invitational with a 17th-place showing. This season, the TCU sophomore has recorded four top-30 showings with a trio of finishes in the top-20.
"There isn't a golfer that we have that is more battle-tested than Scott because he has really worked his tail off to be in the lineup by competing and winning our qualifiers and pre-qualifiers. He played extremely well in his last tournament and is a mentally-strong player that possesses a tremendous attitude. I'm very excited to see Scott back in the lineup because he works incredibly hard," said Montigel.
The fourth position in the rotation belongs to Hoge, who is coming off a disappointing showing in his last outing at the John Hyat Collegiate Invitational. Prior to the Frogs' last tournament, Hoge posted a pair of top-10 finishes, including a tournament championship at the Columbia Invitational.
"Tom has played well, but has been very up and down this season. We really need him to be consistent in the lineup for us to have a chance to win. I know that he was disappointed by how he played in Florida so I think that he is really focused and ready to post a strong showing in Arizona," said Montigel.
The National Invitational Tournament will begin on Sunday with 36 holes of action followed by the third and final round on Monday.
TCU Athletic Media Relations