The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Three SMU golfers qualify for U.S. Amateur

Over the summer, three members of the SMU men’s golf team qualified for the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship sponsored by the United States Golf Association. With 6000 amateurs competing for 312 slots, seniors Ryan Abbate, Brock Mulder and Stephen Sparolini made the cut and traveled to Detroit, Mich. to contest with the best amateurs in the country.

The first and second qualifying rounds of competition were held Aug. 19 – 20 and eliminated the competition from 312 golfers to 64. None of the SMU golfers made the cut with Mulder shooting a 74, 71 and missing advancement to the final round by only two strokes.

“You’re not going to play your best everyday,” Abbate said. “But when you chalk up to competition like that, win or loose you’re going to get better no matter what.”

The team is going into the 2002 season with experience and a majority of returning seniors. Sparolini, with two U.S. Amateur golf tournaments under his belt, is confident with the teams’ abilities.

“We lost two seniors [last year] but with three of us making it to the Amateur and a good number of seniors on the team, we should be pretty strong this year,” Sparolini said.

Two core players are not the only things the Mustangs lost. Head Coach Ted Gleason will not be returning after taking a job coaching both the men’s and women’s golf teams at the University of Southern California.

“It was really sad to see him go,” Abbate said. “He had professional experience playing golf and could relate it to the college level.”

Coach Jay Loar will once again move into the head coach position in Gleason’s absence. Loar was the head coach for the men’s golf team in 2000.

Loar said that he was pleased with the men’s performance in the U.S. Amateur.

“It is a prestigious accomplishment and says a lot about where the program is headed this year,” Loar said.

The players are enthusiastic about Loar’s return as head coach.

“I am going to embrace him being our coach again,” Abbate said. “It will be great for the SMU golf program.”

In May of 2002, the men’s golf team finished 14th at the NCAA Central Regional in Little Rock, Ark. Their first tournament in the 2002-2003 season is the Sooner Invitational in Norman, Ok. on September 15.

“The team has a renewed sense of vigor and we’re ready to play our hearts out,” Abbate said.

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