Men’s golf coach aims for higher than No. 4 in championship

Spring season for men’s golf kicked off Monday March 2 in Las Vegas at the UMSL Las Vegas Desert Classic. The Mountain Lions will compete in the second day of the tournament and then have a week off before heading to California for the California State University – East Bay Tim Tierney Pioneer Shootout.

Despite placing No. 4 in the RMAC championship last spring, head coach Phil Trujillo said that the team fell short of expectations.

“It was very disappointing to the team and felt like a kick in the gut,” said Trujillo via email. “Each season is different. This team has a lot of potential and the guys rally around each other. Of course, we always want to win another conference championship and qualify for regionals as a team. Those are attainable goals and if we play like we know how to, we should get it done.”

The men performed well during the fall season, finishing Top-10 in every tournament and tying for first in the Concordia Invite in Portland, Oregon on Oct. 7-8.

“The guys played their hearts out in the Concordia event in the final round and we ended up tied for first with a very good team, Simon Fraser,” said Trujllo

The Mountain Lions were No. 3 on day one of their final tournament (CSU-MB Invite) of the fall season but back to tying at No. 6 on day two.

“We played more like a team and the guys held each other accountable,” said Trujillo. “We got close to having a really good fall but just fell short on the final day.”

Trujillo said that there are a handful of new golfers on the team who have had to adjust to playing more holes than they were used to. Trujillo also cited sloppiness in events being one of the things that held them back.

The men’s head coach pointed out junior Ignacio de La Vega and redshirt freshman Barrett Jones as two golfers who he would like to see take the next step this spring.

“[de La Vega) has the potential to take it deep and turn in under par rounds every time he goes out. Barrett Jones is a D1 transfer [from University of Northern Colorado] that we are looking at helping us out more.”

“We just need guys to do what they are capable of doing and have them playing like individuals,” said Trujillo. “If we play like a team and hold each other accountable, we are hard to beat.”