This weekend will mark Eli Cole's first college competition in more than a year.
Aug. 31, 2012
FORT WORTH--The TCU men's golf team tees off its 2012-13 schedule this weekend when it travels to Monterey, Calif., to compete in the Carmel Cup, a medal match play tournament pitting the Horned Frogs against Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt.
The Carmel Cup will feature three rounds of match play over two days, with one round for the Frogs against each squad. Two rounds will be held Saturday at Bayonet Golf Course, the first against Texas A&M in the morning before an afternoon match against Vanderbilt. All squads will then head to Pebble Beach Golf Links for one final match on Sunday morning. The Frogs will face Texas Tech at Pebble Beach.
Each team round will include six individual head-to-head stroke-play matches, which can result in a win, loss or halve. The total number of individual points will carry over for a team throughout the tournament, and the squad with the highest total following the three rounds will be crowed champion.
Filling out the TCU lineup this weekend will be sophomore Julien Brun, senior Daniel Jennevret, freshman Paul Barjon, senior Eli Cole, sophomore Thomas Mantovanini and sophomore Michael Culin. Four of the Frogs return from 2011-12 TCU's roster, while Barjon and Culin are newcomers.
Big things have been forecast for TCU on the links in 2012-13, as evidenced by Golfweek awarding the Frogs with its No. 20 preseason ranking last week. Three golfers, Brun, Jennevret and Mantovanini, return after helping lead the squad to last season's NCAA Championship, while Cole, who was featured in TCU's 2010 NCAA lineup, is back after a one-year absence due to injury.
Head coach Bill Montigel leads the squad in his 25th season with the Frogs. Montigel has helped direct TCU to 15 NCAA Championship appearances in his tenure, while the squad also currently owns an ongoing school record for all sports for postseason appearances with 23 straight NCAA Regional bids. He is one of only four coaches in the nation with a streak of regional appearances that long.
Brun enters his second season on campus as one of the nation's top returning golfers. He finished last season ranked No. 8 in the nation after setting individual school records for victories (three) and season stroke average (70.51). The native of Antibes, France, became only the third golfer in school history to be named a first-team All-American after finishing as the reserve medalist at the NCAA Championship. He enters this season listed at No. 12 in the R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Jennevret is back for his final season as a Frog following three straight seasons where his game has shown improvement. Last season, the Sandviken, Sweden, product posted his most consistent season yet, finishing No. 169 in the Golweek college rankings after cutting nearly two full strokes off his stroke average from the previous year. Jennevret is fresh off experiencing a breakout summer on the amateur circuit, as he won top individual medalist honors at the British Amateur in late June.
The addition of Cole back to the Frog mix will be a big boost toward strengthening the depth of the TCU lineup. The Beverly Hills, Calif., native, who was forced to sit out all of last season while rehabbing a leg injury, was a fixture in TCU's regular lineup for his sophomore and junior seasons, playing in 17 tournaments over the two campaigns. He recently became one of only 64 golfers to advance to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur held in Cherry Hills, Colo.
Also back for TCU is Mantovanini, who filled the No. 4 spot in TCU's lineup last season. The Sao Palo, Brazil, product was one of the driving forces behind the Frogs being able to advance to the NCAA Championship, as he came up with the top performance of his freshman campaign at the NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., tying for 11th place.
Both of the two newcomers to TCU's roster, Barjon and Culin, will be in action this weekend. Barjon is expected to be a huge addition to the squad after arriving from his home in New Caledonia, a French province located near Australia in the southwest Pacific. Barjon, No. 105 in the latest world amateur rankings, will pair with Brun to give TCU two of the world's top amateur golfers. Culin comes to TCU after transferring from Cal, which reached the NCAA Championship semifinals last season. He is a former Texas high school state champion who prepped at John Paul II High School in Plano.
A full recap of this weekend's action from the Carmel Cup can be found on GoFrogs.com following each day of competition.