ETSU men's golf enters first event of fall season as one of nation's top-ranked teams
ETSU men's golf enters first event of fall season as one of nation's top-ranked teams
Tuesday, September 12, 2006


                JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 12, 2006) - With the fall season set to open Friday at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, the ETSU men's golf team once again sees its name near the top of the nation's most respected preseason rankings.


            The Buccaneers, fresh off their 15th trip to the NCAA Championships in 2005-06, ended last year ranked in the Top 20 in every major national listing and finished 21st at the NCAAs. Returning its entire starting lineup - including the nation's No. 4-ranked individual and a two-time first-team All-American in senior Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) - ETSU will start the 2006-07 campaign ranked as high as 16th by and 17th in the Golfweek/Sagarin computer rankings.


            "We are looking forward to getting started again," said head coach Fred Warren, who enters his 21st season at ETSU. "We�re playing a fairly light fall schedule - only three tournaments - but all three have very strong fields and should be good tests for our team. The fall will still be busy for a couple of our guys, with Rhys and Gareth (Shaw) selected to play for the Eisenhower Trophy at the World Amateur Championship in South Africa in late October, and Rhys will again play in the Western Refining All-America Classic in El Paso in November."


            The Bucs do return a bevy of talent this year, beginning with Davies, who has a program best seven individual tournament titles and led the team a year ago with a scoring average of 70.9. Along with Davies, All-South Region selection Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland) and A-Sun All-Freshman Team selection Jordan Findlay (Fraserburgh, Scotland) return, while junior Cian McNamara (Limerick, Ireland) and sophomore Adam Hodkinson (Dore, England) round out the Bucs' returning players.


            New additions to the squad include highly-touted freshmen Seamus Power (Waterford, Ireland) and Niall Kearney (Dublin, Ireland), both of whom are expected to battle for spots in the team's top five.


            "We have a chance to have a good team this year with all of our starters returning from last year, and with two very good freshmen in the lineup," Warren said. "Both freshmen have had quite a bit of competitive experience and success. Seamus Power was the 2005 Irish Youths Champion, and Niall Kearney was the 2005 Irish Boys Champion, and was the top boy golfer in Ireland in 2005.


"The increased depth and experience should help us, but it goes without saying that we will be led by Rhys."


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