CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2012) – The ETSU men’s golf team opens its 2012 fall season this weekend when the Bucs travel Chapel Hill, N.C. to play in the Tar Heel Intercollegiate.
The tournament consists of a two-day 54-hole format with 36 holes being played on Saturday and 18 holes taking place Sunday at UNC Finley Golf Course. Players will tee off at 7:40 a.m. from the #1 and #10 tees, while the course runs 7,242 yards and is a par 72.
ETSU, who returns four players from last season’s squad, features a young group as it consists of four sophomores and three freshmen.
Of the returners, Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) is coming off a stellar performance last month at the European Amateur Championship at the Carton House Golf Club. Pugh entered the final round eight shots off the lead, but shot an impressive 66 in the final round to finish off the stunning comeback – propelling him into the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield. Last week, Pugh was named one of the “Top 50 Players to Watch” according to Golf World.
Meanwhile, fellow sophomore Scott Gibson (Southerness, Scotland) enjoyed a solid rookie season where he received Atlantic Sun All-Freshmen Team honors. Gibson played in 10 of the 11 tournaments for the Bucs in 2011-12 and tied for seventh at the conference championship, while finishing fifth at the Coca-Cola Invitational where he fired his lowest round of the season (68). In addition to Gibson, Tom Heggarty (Cheshire, England) and Justin Hulbert (Orlando, Fla.) return for their second season in the Blue and Gold.
This weekend marks the first collegiate tournament for a trio of Buccaneer golfers as Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.), Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) and Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) all make their ETSU debuts in North Carolina. Hickman was a four-year letterwinner for head coach William Darrin at The Blue Ridge School and was ranked the top 2012 junior in both Maryland and Delaware, while also earning honorable mention honors for the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award. Kristjansson comes to ETSU with a successful junior playing career in his home country of Iceland. In 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009, Kristjansson was the Icelandic Junior Match Play champion and also earned medalist honors at the 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 Icelandic Junior Stroke Play Championship. Likewise, Meronk comes to ETSU with a plethora of honors as he garnered the No. 1 ranking in 2011 according to the World Junior Golf Rankings. Meronk locked up the ranking after placing second in the World Junior Golf Series season-ending Gate American Junior in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., while also winning the Polish Junior Championship and finishing runner-up at the Polish Amateur Championship in 2011.
The lineup the Bucs will send out this weekend includes Pugh, Gibson, Hickman, Kristjansson, and Meronk, while Heggarty and Hulbert will play as individuals.
Along with the host Tar Heels, the Bucs will go up against No. 21 Duke, No. 34 East Carolina, Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, VCU, Furman, and Gardner-Webb.
Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com, while full recaps with results can be found on ETSUBucs.com.
For more information on men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com.