With the upcoming season on the horizon, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania men’s golf team has announced its 2014 spring schedule.
The Crimson Hawks will participate in four tournaments before the NCAA Super Regional and National Championship in May.
The season begins March 21 when they travel to Southport, N.C., to partake in the Sixth Annual St. James Plantation Invitational, a competition in which they placed first among 10 teams last year.
Individually, the team had Zack Kempa (senior, marketing) and Kenneth Sames (junior, business) finish third and fourth respectively.
Kempa, who is playing his final season at IUP, expressed enthusiasm for the opening tourney of the year.
“I can’t believe this is my last semester,” Kempa said. “I have been working very hard on my game and fitness. [I] can’t wait to get down to St. James on spring break.”
After that, they will travel to Maryland for the Whiting-Turner Towson Invitational hosted by Towson University, March 30. The team placed fourth among 24 teams last year, with Kempa finishing second and Sames finishing in a tie for 10th.
The Crimson Hawks will then commence April by making their way to West Chester for the Dr. Edwin B. Cottrell Invitational April 6 and 7, an event they did not participate in last year.
The team’s proceeding tournament will come on a much more familiar green when they host the 51st Annual Cecil C. Spadafora Invitational at the Indiana County Country Club on April 13 and 14. The Crimson Hawks finished second of 15 teams last year, and graduate Sean Sweithelm took home first place.
According to Brett Geiser (sophomore, management), winning the invitational is important because it will give the team a big confidence boost heading into regionals.
The golfers will have a three-week break in action before participating in the NCAA Super Regional May 5-7. Last year the team won the competition and saw Kempa claim the individual title. Jack Owen (junior, sports administration) also earned recognition during the event by tying for 10th place.
After the Super Regional, the team will participate in the 2014 NCAA Championship May 19-23 in Allendale, Mich. Last season, the team finished 14th out of 20 teams in the contest, and its highest placing player was Kempa, who finished in a tie for 11th.
Geiser said that the focus is not solely on the championship.
“I think [the tournaments] are all important,” he said. “But what we are going to really try and focus on is our home tournament and also playing in regionals and nationals.”
With the season fast approaching, Kempa expressed his optimism for it.
“Just like every event the team and I play, we expect to win every time we tee it up,” Kempa said.
“We’re very excited to get the year started.”