College Golf in New Orleans…The story America missed

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J.T. Horton (left) and Chris McCarter

I was there, I saw it all. Katrina rolled over college golf in New Orleans and took no prisoners. The date was August 29, 2005.

Coach Chris McCarter of the University of New Orleans could not take his team with incoming freshmen back to New Orleans. He got his team enrolled at LSU Shreveport. Along with my position at the 36 hole Eastover Country Club, I was also coach of the UNO Women’s Golf Team. We ended up at Nicholls State in Thibodeaux after a 10 state odyssey.

Tulane decided to cancel both men and women’s golf and this was when Coach Sue Bower had a women’s golf team ranked in the top ten in the country. These were the best of times because we were thankful for what we had and they were the worst of times because we realized what we had lost.

In February of 2006, UNO had to cancel 8 sports and women’s golf was on the list. Disaster brings out the best in character; the women’s team won two tournaments and had the best GPA in the Sun Belt Conference. All student athletes of UNO Women’s Golf got equal or more scholarships for their next year, maybe my best accomplishment in coaching.

All we had left representing college golf in New Orleans was UNO Men’s Golf. Coach McCarter at age 50 was a rookie coach, but I knew better when I was involved in his hiring. I knew he had what it took to be a top NCAA Collegiate Golf Coach. He did not disappoint. Just 70 days after Katrina, Golf Week Magazine named UNO the “college golf team of the week” after an impressive victory, more ways than one.

When UNO Men’s Golf returned to UNO in 2006, not only were they facility challenged, the coach lived in a FEMA trailer for 18 months. Coach McCarter, from Hurricane Katrina to present, did not look for excuses, but faced the challenges.

Since Katrina, Coach McCarter’s team has won 10 tournaments that included defeating former NCAA Champions LSU and Texas. He was named twice college golf coach of the year for Louisiana and also twice Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year. During this time he had seven of his student athletes make all-conference and three made it to the NCAA Championships.

Can it continue to get better than this? The answer is an astounding yes.

While Tulane Men’s Golf remained dormant, the women’s golf team came back in 2008. Sue Bower, PGA Member and Ivy League educated at Dartmouth, knew what it would take to bring Tulane Women’s Golf back to the prominence they enjoyed before “the storm.” The powers at be in the athletic department knew the same when they named Sue director of golf and assistant athletic director. Good decision Tulane!

Bower’s first move was to hire J.T. Horton who in his rookie season took Tulane to champions of Conference USA and a trip to the NCAA Championship. To do this in his first year is a feat that earned Coach Horton Conference USA Coach of the Year and, in my opinion, one of the greatest feats in college golf for 2009.

While there are still challenges that lay ahead, New Orleans’ college golf is in good hands. When Coach McCarter learned the news that UNO Athletics would be going from NCAA Division l to Division lll, he took it in the same stride following Katrina, another challenge. His first move has been to place his student athletes at other Division l schools and begin the process of recruiting for Division lll where golf scholarships are not given.

The All State Sugar Bowl which just hosted his collegiate championship at TPC Louisiana believes in him and I can tell you, so do I. I know his next goal is not looking back but ahead to the NCAA Division lll Championship.

The one thing I can tell you about our college golf coaches in New Orleans, they are leaders and let us all get behind these two great programs. They have earned this respect not only here but nationwide. Go Privateers and Go Green Wave! You make New Orleans proud!

Tulane Green Wave Women’s Golf Team Wins Prestigious Kinderlou Forest Challenge

Coach J.T. Horton’s Green Wave Golf Team sent a strong message that they are the team to watch this spring. Their seven stroke victory against some of the nation’s best programs will provide the Green Wave the momentum to carry them to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year.

Coach Horton’s Green Wave also had the winning individual player. Janine Fellows came in at two under par with scores of 74-73-70 (Par 73) to win by two strokes.

Samantha Troyanovich also came in with a solid 4th place finish at one over par. Ashley McKenney, Linn Gustafsson and Maribel Lopez Porras rounded out one of the best team efforts this spring in college golf.

Kinder Forest Golf Club – Valdosta, GA – 6,265 yards – Par 73
Format – count best four scores each day of four person team – daily team par – 292

Final Tournament Standings

Tulane – 293-296-300-889

Ohio State – 302-292-302-896

Tennessee – 299-298-304-901

Georgia – 302-296-305-903

Vanderbilt – 302-305-301-903

6 Virginia – 302-305-301-908

7 Florida – 295-309-309-913

7 Mississippi – 307-299-307-913

9 LSU – 299-308-308-915

10 Florida State – 307-302-307-916

11 South Carolina – 304-308-307-919

12 Kent State – 307-303-311-921

13 Arkansas – 308-313-305-926

14 North Carolina – 318-318-309-945

15 Chattanooga – 322-311-320-953

15 Kentucky – 313-322-318-953

17 Kennesaw – 315-323-321-959

18 Mississippi State – 323-321-320-964

University of New Orleans Privateers Men’s Golf Finishes in Third Place

Coach Chris McCarter’s Privateers had visions of defending last year’s championship being only three strokes out of the lead after two rounds in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Mardi Gras Invitational held at TPC Louisiana.

Starting out with a one under par first round of 287 followed with a three over 291 going into the final round, the Privateers trailed North Carolina State and one stroke behind San Diego coached by Tim Mickelson, brother of PGA Tour star Phil. After a third round score of 300 they were able to hold on to third place finishing 8 strokes back.

UNO’s Oscar Zetterwall had a solid 4th place individual finish at one under par with scores of 72-71-72 over the course that will host the PGA Tour Event, The Zurich Classic in April. Hector Arias finished 11th with 70-72-76 and Ken Looper 13th with 71-77-71. Derek East and Pablo Serna rounded out the team.

Alex Ching of San Diego won individual honors by six strokes firing a three round total of 9 under par – 64-74-69. Nine rounds were posted in the 60’s with another 64 by Vaita Guillaume of Campbell University.

TPC Louisiana Avondale, LA 6,931 yards Par 72
Fomat – count best four scores of five person team each round – daily team par 288

Final Tournament Standings

San Diego – 290-287-293-870

North Carolina State – 286-289-298-873

New Orleans – 286-289-300-878

Troy – 303-288-288-879

Arkansas Little Rock – 296-297-292-885

Wichita State – 293-296-301-890

Southeastern – 298-286-307-891

Liberty – 299-301-295-895

Campbell – 314-285-301-900

Louisiana-Lafayette – 300-302-304-905

Louisiana Tech – 303-302-304-909

Louisiana-Monroe – 311-304-307-922

Centenary – 311-302-329-932

Austin Peay State – 316-302-315-947

Nicholls State – 322-318-315-955

 

Tiger/Green Wave Golf Classic March 11-14 – English Turn – New Orleans

The LSU Tigers/Coach Karen Bahnsen and the Tulane Green Wave/Coach J.T. Horton have joined forces and will host the strongest field of female golfers to ever play in New Orleans. I have followed golf a long time in New Orleans and I can say this will be a historic golf event.

Ten of the top 25 teams in the country will be represented with Tulane coming off a very impressive win in Georgia. If things go their way, this is their tournament to win.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring some of the best female college golfers in the country to New Orleans and English Turn Golf and Country Club. It is an honor to co-host this event with LSU, and we are looking forward to a special event,” explains Horton.

Golfers interested in playing in this special college-am can contact Coach Horton at jthorton@tulane.edu.

The Tiger/Green Wave field:

Arkansas

Auburn

College of Charleston

Furman

Georgia

Kentucky

Louisville

LSU

Mississippi State

North Carolina State

Notre Dame

Ole Miss

Purdue

Tennessee

Texas Christian

Tulane

North Carolina Chapel Hill

North Carolina Wilmington

Central Florida

Vanderbilt

Virginia

Wake Forest

“Admission is free. We hope that anyone and everyone…especially junior golfers that are interested in golf will come out and watch your favorite team and/or player compete,” says Horton. “I promise that you will be impressed as there will be plenty of future All-Americans and LPGA tour players competing here. We look forward to seeing you out at English Turn spectating.”

Schedule of Events

Thursday March 11th, 2010 Practice round @ 7:30am College Am @12:30

Friday March 12th 1st round tee times from 7:50 – 10:20 am

Saturday March 13th 2nd round tee times from 7:50 – 10:20 am

Sunday March 14th 3rd and final round shotgun start @ 8:30 am

 

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