The point system is how coach Brian Quinn makes lineup decisions every week. While it’s not complicated, it brings the best out of his players in practice.
Quinn notes the scores of all his players in practice rounds leading up to an event. When the times comes, Quinn rounds up his team and points to those that are traveling for the weekend. With a total of eight freshmen and sophomores on the roster of 11 players, several young players are competing for a spot in the weekly lineup of five golfers at each event.
The Owls are currently competing in their third event of the fall season in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate. Already, Quinn has made a lineup change opting to remove sophomore Gary McCabe in favor of freshman Marty McGuckin.
The Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh features five par-five holes. McGuckin is a big hitter off the tee, which prompted Quinn to bring him with the team to Raleigh in hopes of taking advantage of the longer holes.
The goal for Quinn this season is to develop his young talent leading up to the American Athletic Conference Championship in April and to also feel confident about the future of the program.
“The most important thing is our conference championship,” Quinn said. “What we’re doing right now is we’re trying to build a great team not only for this year, but for the two years after this year. I’m hoping that in a couple years, we can have one of the best teams we’ve ever had at Temple.”
If Quinn is successful in building a great team, it’s likely that sophomores Sam Soeth and Trey Wren and redshirt-sophomore John Barone, will be a part of that team. Soeth, Wren and Barone are one-two-three in Temple’s lineup, respectively.
Wren played every event last season as a freshman, but he said he refuses to become complacent. After seeing McGuckin enter the lineup for McCabe and hearing that redshirt freshman Erik Reisner shot a 69 last week in practice but was held back from the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, Wren said he has plenty of reasons to maintain his work ethic.
“I still have to prove myself in practice which is great because it keeps me getting better,” Wren said. “In high school, I knew I was going to play every week and so I didn’t take practice as seriously as I did here.”
Without Brandon Matthews — one of the top golfers in program in history, who has graduated and is trying to make it onto the PGA Tour — it’s not as clear who will be the Owls’ best player.
“We have six or seven guys that can go out there and be our best player in any given tournament,” Wren added.
One of the more experienced players on the roster is junior Mark Farley. Farley, despite having more time in the program than most of the Owls, is currently the four man in the lineup.
“I think it’s best for the team to have as many guys competing for the top five spots,” Farley said. “It just makes me work that much harder. If someone’s outperforming me, they deserve to be in that spot.”
Quinn said Farley isn’t quite where he would like him to be.
“Mark needs to step up,” Quinn said. “He needs to play a little smarter on the golf course and not make any big numbers. He should be an integral part of the program right now.”
But Quinn added Farley’s unselfish attitude is part of what makes this year’s team such a joy for him to coach.
“These kids came in together, and they’re going to leave together,” Quinn said. “They’re going to be best friends for life. It’s so much fun for me. In years past it hasn’t been that way because I’ve had some teams where kids do not get along and you’re always having to take care of them.”
Greg Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.