DURHAM, N.C. (Sept. 9, 2016) – The ETSU men’s golf team opens its 2016 fall season this weekend as the Bucs head to Durham, N.C., for the Rod Myers Invitational. The 54-hole tournament begins Saturday morning at the Duke University Golf Club.
ABOUT THE BUCS
The Bucs bring back three returners from last season’s team that captured their second straight Southern Conference championship title.
Senior Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Slaskie, Poland), junior Cayman Ratliff (Kingsport, Tenn.) and sophomore Geuntae Kim (Daegu, South Korea) are the returners from last season, while Trevor Hulbert (Orlando, Fla.) redshirted the 2015-16 campaign.
Gradecki played in 13 tournaments a year ago, while recording two top-10 finishes – including a fifth-place showing at the SoCon Championship. Gradecki – who was an All-American Scholar last year – totaled a scoring average of 74.27 in 2015-16. Along with his finish at the conference championship, Gradecki paced the Blue and Gold with a seventh-place finish at the Mason Rudolph Championship.
Kim – a SoCon All-Freshman Team selection – appeared in 11 tournaments for the Bucs in his first season in the Blue and Gold. Kim had one top-10 finish (Greenbrier Collegiate Invitational) and finished with a scoring average of 74.97. Meanwhile, Ratliff played in eight of ETSU’s 13 tournaments last year and helped guide the Bucs to the win at the Greenbrier Intercollegiate Invite – where he finished tied for 15th. Ratliff and Kim were also on the Bucs’ squad at the SoCon Championship and NCAA Regional.
Along with the returners, head coach Fred Warren brought in three freshmen in Ben Reichert (East Amherst, N.Y.), Zack Ford (Cochranton, Pa.) and Kevin Burns (Canton, Ga.).
Reichert was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Williams North High School where he became the first golfer in school history to win back-to-back conference and Section VI championships, while he also won the N.Y.S Junior Amateur and AJGA New Era Junior Championship in 2015. Ford – a multi-sport athlete (golf and basketball) at Cochrathon High School – was named Meadville Tribune Player of the Year. Ford was also a three-time all-region and first team all-district selection. Burns was a three-time Player of the Year winner and four-time all-county selection at Woodstock High School.
ETSU graduated two-time SoCon Player of the Year and two-time All-American Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland), and all-conference selection Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) this past spring. For his career, Meronk played in 51 tournaments, while posting five wins (second-most all-time) and cracking the top-10 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Meronk also registered a 71.93 scoring average in his four-year career, which ranks second all-time in Buccaneer history. The Wroclaw, Poland native posted 82 rounds of par or better (out of 150), while he recorded 511 birdies and 18 eagles over his career. Overall, Meronk’s score was used by the Bucs 97.3 percent of the time from 2013-16.
Kristjansson finished second in scoring average (72.90) for the Bucs last season en route to earning All-SoCon honors. Kristjansson – who represented ETSU at the 2015 NCAA Championship – played in 49 career tournaments over his four-year career in the Blue and Gold. Kristjansson totaled a pair of wins, while recording a scoring average of 74.06.
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
This marks the seventh annual Rod Myers Invitational, which will be contested Sept. 10-11 at the Duke University Golf Club (par 72, 7,154 yards).
The 54-hole event will feature 36 holes of play on Saturday and an 18-hole final round on Sunday, with tee times beginning at 7:35 a.m. ET both days.
Wake Forest returns to defend its title as the Demon Deacons defeated Duke by one stroke.
This marks the first time ETSU is playing at the Rod Myers Invitational since 2011.
Below is the tournament field for the Rod Myers Invitational
() denotes Golfstat Ranking; * denotes Golfweek Ranking
South Florida 16*
Florida State (17)
Wake Forest (19)
North Carolina (30)
Penn State 33*
East Carolina (57)
Loyola (Md.) 142*
Four teams are ranked in the top-25 of the Golfstat and Golfweek Rankings, while seven teams are ranked within the top-50. The rankings are based off last season’s results.
Four Buccaneers will make their collegiate debut this weekend as Burns, Ford, Hulbert and Reichert join Gradecki in ETSU’s lineup.
The Blue and Gold lineup features one senior, one red-shirt freshman and three true freshmen.
ETSU will be grouped with Princeton and Loyola (Md.) as they tee off from No. 1 at 7:35 a.m.
Live scoring for all three rounds will be available on Golfstat. Click here to access live scoring.
Full recaps with scores will be available on ETSUBucs.com after each day.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.