ETSU men's golf to open season Friday at Carpet Capital Collegiate
Senior Gareth Shaw is a preseason third team All-America selection.
Senior Gareth Shaw is a preseason third team All-America selection.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

   

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 12, 2007) - Having said farewell to the most decorated golfer in the history of the program, the ETSU men's golf team enters the 2007-08 season with many questions, but still a great deal of anticipation and excitement. The Buccaneers, who have been ranked 14th in the preseason poll released by Golfweek/Sagarin, will open their new campaign Friday at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Dalton, Ga.

 

After a career which included three straight PING first-team All-America selections and a No. 1 national ranking as a senior, Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) has moved on to continue his golfing career at the professional level. However, Davies leaves behind his four Buccaneer teammates, who a year ago helped lead the team to a record 21st conference title and their second straight trip to the NCAA Championships.

 

"We definitely will miss Rhys since he has been such a big part of our program for the past four years," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren, whose team finished 18th at the NCAA Championships last June. "But as we return everyone else, and have added three promising freshmen, our team is looking forward to the coming season."

 

Leading the Bucs this season will be honorable mention All-American and first-team All-Atlantic Sun selection Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland), who finished his junior season second on the squad in stroke average and enjoyed seven finishes of 16th or better. Shaw enters his senior year already earning national recognition, as he was selected preseason third team All-America by Golfweek. Along with Shaw, sophomore Seamus Power (Waterford, Ireland) returns after an outstanding freshman campaign. Power, who finished third on the team in stroke average at 72.1, was named the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year after winning the A-Sun Championship individual title and earning A-Sun first-team accolades. Joining Shaw as the lone seniors on the team will be Cian McNamara (Limerick, Ireland), who has been a four-year contributor to the squad and brings a wealth of experience to the group. In addition, junior Jordan Findlay (Fraserburgh, Scotland) has shown the ability to go low on the scorecard but will continue his search for a more consistent game this season.

 

"Gareth returns for his senior year after earning honorable mention All-America honors and he's playing well," Warren said. "Seamus had one of the best freshman years in memory for us, having won the conference title, and also had several other high finishes. Cian and Jordan both played well this summer and look to improve on last year's play. These four players give us quite a bit of experience to start the year but we will need at least one of the freshmen to play well to remain competitive."

 

Along with the team's experienced players, the Bucs have added three true freshmen to the fold, all of whom have accomplished amateur careers already. The most impressive of the trio so far has been Rhys Enoch (Cornwall, England), a powerful player who is arguably the team's longest hitter at present. Along with Enoch, Paul O'Kane (Castledawson, Northern Ireland) and Simon Doherty (Belfast, Northern Ireland) will also give the team some depth.

"Of the three freshmen, Rhys Enoch comes in with the most successes, having advanced to the third round of the British Amateur and finishing high in some important amateur events in the UK," Warren said. "Both Paul and Simon are very talented and give our team the most depth we have had in a long time."

 

Warren said his team will miss the services of Davies, but he's excited about the future.

 

"Rhys helped lead us back into the national rankings and left some big shoes to fill, but I am very encouraged with what I have seen so far in this year's team," Warren said. "Each year it seems that it is increasingly competitive at the top level of college golf and it is no different this year. I think we have the talent to build on our successes of the past few years."

 

For more on ETSU men's golf this weekend and throughout the upcoming year, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's golf link.

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