DU Men's Golf Set For Opening Tourney in Fort Collins
Erik Billinger Debut's As Head Coach
Sept. 11, 2014
DENVER - The University of Denver men's golf team has had their sights set on the Ram Masters Invitational for several months. The opening tournament of the fall season will be hosted by Colorado State University in Fort Collins and DU first year head coach Erik Billinger is ready to get the season underway.
"We just got done with qualifying, we had three days of qualifying and just finished up last night," Billinger said. "The team's set. We got Petter (Mikalsen) who finished first. We have Adam (Ruben) from Seattle who finished second, we have Victor Doka who finished third and we had two freshmen (Christopher Korte and Jake Kelley) stepping up that are going to play the four and five spot. So we're excited."
As Billinger gets prepared for his first tournament as a head coach, the 2002 DU graduate remembers all too well his first tourney as a Pioneer player.
"Quick funny story, when I was a young player, the first tournament I ever played in, actually the first hole I ever played, I hit the wrong ball, so I'll never forget that story," Billinger said with a smile. "So hopefully none of our freshmen will do that up in Fort Collins next week."
The men's squad has nine solid players and gives Billinger plenty of depth. That will be important as the season moves on and the team strives to reach the goals set by their new mentor. Most coaches, and successful people in general, are goal oriented and Erik Billinger is no exception.
"You know, we all have big dreams, don't we?" Billinger said. "Right now we are currently ranked 130th and the top 65 get a bid to the NCAA regionals so my goal in the next couple of years is to always be in the top 65."
The Pioneers as a team have qualified for NCAA regionals on numerous occasions. However, they have never qualified for the NCAA finals. That is the next big hurdle that Billinger wants his team to clear. The first step towards that objective is Monday at the Ram Masters, a tournament the Pioneers won last year, defeating 14 other squads.
The Ram Masters Invitational will take place September 14th and 15th at the Fort Collins Country Club, approximately four and half miles Northeast of the CSU campus.
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