The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf opens the 2013-14 season Friday at a familiar place. UTC begins again at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic in nearby Rocky Face, Ga.
Head Coach Mark Guhne enters his ninth season at the helm in an unusual position. He’ll take four freshman to the opener, the most he’s ever played in an event. His 2010-11 squad featured three new players to open. Senior Davis Bunn (Knoxville, Tenn.) is joined by redshirt freshman Wes Gosselin (Knoxville) and true freshmen Ewan Scott (St. Andrews, Scotland), Stuart Thomas (Knoxville) and Brooks Thomas (Chattanooga).
“This is how it played out in qualifying, and I am excited about that competition,” Guhne stated. “It’s great to see the depth we are entering the season with, and how hard it’s going to be just to qualify for tournaments.
“That should give us an edge when we hit the course because of what it took to get there.”
The Carpet Capital is known as “The Masters of Collegiate Golf” and is one of the most prestigious events on the college schedule each year. The Mocs won it in 2008 and finished as runner-up in 2009.
The event is played at The Farm just outside Dalton. The Farm was built in 1988 by famed designer Tom Fazio. At more than 7,000 yards, it provides quite a test for teams each season.
CARPET CAPITAL COLLEGIATE – SEPT. 6-8
Chattanooga, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, LSU, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina, UNF, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wake Forest
Dates: Sept. 6-8
Location: Rocky Face, Ga. (Dalton)
Format: 54 Holes - 18 per day
Course: The Farm (Par 72/7,012)
No. of Teams: 14
2012 Champion: Texas (Chattanooga 7th)
Medalist: Brandon Stone, Texas, 69-63-72=204, -12
Davis Bunn (3rd Carpet Capital Start), Wes Gosselin, Ewan Scott, Brooks Thomas, Stuart Thomas
LAST TIME OUT
This is the opening event of the season. The Mocs concluded 2012-13 at the NCAA Columbus Regional finishing tied for ninth.
Chattanooga heads to Iowa Sept. 15-17 for the Golfweek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Club in Burlington. The Mocs finished second in the 2011 Challenge with former All-American Stephan Jaeger capturing the win.
• The Mocs return four of five starters from last year’s SoCon Championship squad. Gone is 2012 U.S, Amateur Champion Steven Fox (Hendersonville, Tenn.), but PING All-Region performer Chris Robb (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) headlines a very experienced group. Fellow seniors Davis Bunn (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Benni Weilguni (Langenlois, Austria) and junior Liam Johnston (Dumfries, Scotland) have won back-to-back league titles and the 2012 NCAA Bowling Green Regional.
• The lineup for the Carpet Capital Collegiate has 84 rounds of collegiate experience covering 33 tournaments. That is all from Bunn as four freshmen played their way into the opening tournament entry.
• Bunn is looking to pick up where he left off in 2012-13. The senior had three top 10’s (2 Top 5’s) in the spring semester with a 73.56 stroke average.
• Bunn is playing in his fourth Carpet Capital with 162 competitive holes played at the Farm.
• Gosselin was a top junior from Knoxville when he signed with Chattanooga in the fall of 2011. Due to an elbow injury, he redshirted the 2012-13 season.
• Scott is the most heralded signee in school history. A top junior from St. Andrews, Scotland, Scott enters UTC as the highest-ranked student-athlete on the squad in the R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings at 208. He earned a nod on the Scottish MEN’S Team for the European Team Amateur and Home Internationals squads. He won the 2012 Scottish Hydro Boys’ Order of Merit.
• Stuart Thomas is the reigning Tennessee High School Champion (3A) from Farragut High School where he played one season with Bunn.
• Brooks Thomas is the reigning Georgia 3A Champion from Ringgold High School. It was one of four high school wins for the season.
• Carpet Capital Collegiate History (Year/Team Finish/Top Individual):
2007: T9th/299-294-293=886 (+22)/Derek Rende, T10, 75-72-69=216 (E)
2008: 1st/291-283-290=864 (E)/Jonathan Hodge, T2, 71-72-70=213 (-3)
2009: 2nd/291-284-288=863 (-1)/Stephan Jaeger, T3, 74-66-71=211 (-5)
2010: 8th/290-285-305=880 (+16)/Steven Fox, T7, 69-69-75=213 (-3)
2011: 6th/287-287-290 (E)/Benni Weilguni, 2, 72-67-71=210 (-6)
2012: 7th/292-286-297=875 (+11)/Liam Johnston, T11, 70-70-74=214 (-2)
• All 14 teams in the field competed in last year’s event.