published Friday, May 25th, 2012

Golf Mocs aiming for more hardware

UTC golfers Chris Robb, left, and Steven Fox hit balls at the UTC practice facility.
UTC golfers Chris Robb, left, and Steven Fox hit balls at the UTC practice facility.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

Rick Hart thought he left too early and missed a trophy ceremony following the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's golf victory at the NCAA South Central Regional last Saturday.

He didn't miss anybody handing Mocs coach Mark Guhne a plaque for winning, or somebody handing Stephan Jaeger hardware for earning medalist honors at the Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky.

There was no ceremony.

There are no trophies for winning regionals.

"We'll have to get that fixed," said Hart, the UTC athletic director.

Guhne said he will be sure to see that the school receives appropriate hardware.

But he'll wait to see if his team wins the biggest trophy available in the NCAA championship tournament next week at Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles.

"I have seen other teams' regional trophies and I knew they were different from the NCAA's," Guhne said. "We will have something made for this accomplishment, and I'll have something made up for Jaeger."

The Mocs, who won the school's second regional championship in any sport during its Division I era, will play for a national championship beginning Tuesday.

UTC and 29 other teams will play three rounds of stroke play. From there, the top eight teams will advance to match play. The individual medalist will be crowned after those first 54 holes.

"I think teams overlook us because we're not in the SEC or anything," Mocs junior Steven Fox said. "We're not a big school, but if we just get to match play it would be huge for the program."

Texas A&M won the first year the format switched to match play in 2009, and then Augusta State won two championships in a row, beginning in 2010 at The Honors Course.

"We go at it as a normal tournament because it's three days of stroke play," said Jaeger, the Southern Conference as well as the regional medalist. "Then if we make match play, that's a different story. Your mindset is different in match play.

"For us, the best thing to do is take it as another tournament like we did at SoCon and regionals."

Jaeger won a trophy for winning one of those tournaments. His collection could grow next week.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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