Texas State men’s golf will participate in the most important rounds of the season next week: the Southland Conference Championships. The tournament will be held in McKinney April 23-25.
Texas State is second among the participating teams with a team average score of 292, barely behind Southeastern Louisiana, who has an average of 291. Seventh place UTSA has an average of 298.
“We are a great group and we have been very solid in our last two tournaments,” said Coach Shane Howell. “We have been steadily rising with our performance and numbers, and feel we may peak at just the right time for the Southland championships.”
The SLC championship is being held on advanced courses, as the fields are also used for Professional Golf Association first round qualifications.
“The courses for the championships are very tough,” Howell said. “I still feel that we will be the team to beat this tournament.”
Juan Plasencia, sophomore, is ranked fifth among all men’s SLC golfers with an average score of 73.
“Throughout the year I feel I’ve been consistent,” he said. “I also feel confident going into the tournament because we have a consistent team. We usually play better later in the year.”
Juan Carlos Benitez, freshman, is currently ranked No. 15 in the SLC and has an average score of 74.
“For me, this semester has been better than last semester,” he said. “This is the most important time to win.”
Texas State feels its consistency and upswing will lead to a great performance.
“All the teams are great teams, but we are tough as well,” Benitez said. “Overall, I still feel very confident about winning.”
In February, the team performed at the Border Olympics where Alastair Jones, senior, carried the Bobcats with a score of 71. The team as a whole managed to score 298.
After that performance, the Bobcats were in 11th place heading to the Jim West Intercollegiate, where they performed well enough to tie for third.
Texas State’s best round of the entire event was the final day when they scored 284. Plasencia tied a team-record with a three-under par 66 score.
In Texas State’s most recent meet, the Woodlands Tournament, the team placed eighth, scoring a scored round-best 287. Plasencia again had one of the most memorable shots. He managed a birdie on a 573-yard hole and finished a four-under par 68 score.