With the golf season right around the corner, the Owls are preparing to make their American Athletic Conference season debut this fall.
Coach Brian Quinn has plenty of talent returning for another year, and the sense from Quinn and his players is that this group of players has a lot of potential.
“I honestly think we’re going to have a great season,” sophomore Brandon Matthews said. “We got Matt Teesdale, who is an awesome golfer, awesome kid. He can go really low any day of the week, same thing with Matt Crescenzo. Crescenzo proved himself this summer.”
Led by Matthews, Teesdale, a junior, and Crescenzo, a senior, Temple has arguably one of its most talented rosters of the past few years.
“I’m pretty pumped,” Crescenzo said. “To be honest, this is the best team I think we’ve had in awhile.”
“We desperately need a four and a five guy to step up,” Quinn said. “If we do that, I think we can compete with just about any team in the country. If we have a solid four or five guy, with Brandon Matthews and Matt Teesdale driving the ship, I think we could be a really, really solid golf team.”
Matthews had a great spring season, finishing among the top 10 on the leaderboard in 11 of 12 events. He also won the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week a conference-record eight times en route to claiming the A-10 Rookie of the Year Award.
Matthews continued his good play in the summer. The DuPont, Pa. native was an alternate for the United States Open, won the 109th Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championship, claimed the Patterson Cup and then reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur, which featured players from all across the globe.
“Expectations will definitely be higher,” Matthews said. “They’ll keep getting higher as I keep playing, and hopefully I keep rising to my expectations and keep doing what I think I can do.”
“If I play good enough and up to my expectations, I think I can beat anybody,” Matthews added. “But if they go out there and beat me on that given day, then they play better than me and there’s nothing I can do. All I can do is just give it my all every single day.”
Matthews gets much of the attention, but Teesdale has just as much support from his teammates.
“When Teesdale is playing well, there’s not many people in the country that can beat him, amateur-wise,” Matthews said of his friend and teammate.
“Matt Teesdale, without a doubt, is one of the most talented players in all of college golf,” Quinn said. “Amazing player, great kid. He’s just learning to manage his game and how to play a little bit and working on some things with his golf swing, but a super, super kid and has a tremendous upside.”
With Matthews, Teesdale and Crescenzo, Temple has three proven golfers atop the lineup, but the fourth and fifth positions will be crucial when it boils down to the Owls winning tournaments.
True freshman Evan Notaro could play a big factor anchoring the back end of the lineup.
“[Notaro] is a point A, point B golfer,” Quinn said. “He’s a good ball striker. I think he’s going to be that consistent guy that we desperately need. We need a consistent guy who can come in here and shoot 71 to 73, 74 for us.
“If we had that guy last year, we probably win seven tournaments,” Quinn added.
If Temple can maintain a balanced lineup throughout the season, it could be a force to be reckoned with.
Although the full schedule has yet to be released, the Owls’ season will get underway the weekend of Sept. 15 at the McLaughlin Tournament at Bethpage Red Golf Club in Farmingdale, N.Y.
“I’m pretty happy this could be my last year that I get to play with such a good team, so hopefully we can do something special,” Crescenzo said. “Personally, I’d like to win a college tournament. As a team, the main thing is to win [The American] and go to the NCAA Tournament.”
Chase Senior can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Chase_Senior.