Senior Brandon Matthews was unhappy with his team’s effort following the Owls’ fall season.
At the end of the fall, Temple was ranked No. 255 out of 301 teams in Golfweek’s Division I men’s team collegiate rankings. Matthews pointed to the work ethic of his teammates as the reason.
“I think we learned as a golf team we need to put in a lot more work,” Matthews said. “We need to become the [Top 200] team that we know we can be, but it’s going to come with a lot of work.”
In the 2014-15 season, Matthews and the Owls finished in the Top 5 six times, including two first-place finishes. Temple has two Top 10 finishes, including one Top 5 finish, halfway through the 2015-16 season.
To help his squad try to regain last season’s success, coach Brian Quinn has pointed to an individual who spent a total of 683 weeks as No. 1 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
“Tiger Woods was the greatest player in the world for 15 years,” Quinn said. “And he was also the hardest worker.”
Nine of the 12 golfers on the Owls’ roster are underclassmen, including six freshmen. Last season, the team had three seniors; two of them were in the team’s starting lineup.
“I don’t think they realize the preparation needed to play Division-I-level golf,” Matthews said.
Freshman Trey Wren, who was in the starting lineup for all six fall events, said the schedule took a toll on him.
“You just need to focus in as much as possible,” Wren said. “The 36-hole days are mentally draining.”
Matthews, who had two Top 10 finishes in the fall, started and finished four of the team’s six fall events.
The senior was unable to finish the team’s first event of the year in Hartford, Connecticut due to a back injury.
He also missed the Wolfpack Intercollegiate Oct. 5-6, 2015 because he was competing for a professional card on the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School, a common name for a series of preliminary tournaments, which ended after Matthews could not advance past the second stage.
“I was thinking of the future when I was in my fall season of golf because I was potentially building my future,” Matthews said. “That was a tough thing to grasp for me, and maybe I didn’t handle it the best I could, but I’m really motivated for the spring.”
With the spring season two months away, the Owls are refining their mechanics at Quinn’s golf academy, BQ Academy, in Conshohocken.
Wren said he wants to focus on his course management, which was Quinn’s biggest concern for the team following the last semester.
“I need to manage my game a little bit better and not make as many big numbers,” Wren said. “Doubles into bogeys and bogeys into pars. It’s about turning those 77s and 78s into 74s and 75s.”
Greg Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @g_frank6