TCU Embraces Challenging Schedule
Sept. 15, 2017
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU men's golf program has sustained success over the past three decades due to its consistent approach.
Bill Montigel, who is in his 31st season as head coach, has provided consistent leadership.
Great players have consistently come through the program like current PGA Tour members J.J. Henry and Tom Hoge.
Montigel has also consistently put together a challenging schedule to put his student-athletes in the best position to succeed. Every season, the Horned Frogs have sought out tournaments with the nation's best teams on the nation's best golf courses.
"That's one thing we've always done ever since I've been at TCU," said Montigel, who took the head job in 1987. "We've always tried to play in the best tournaments against the best competition because I think you can learn more by doing that."
Last season, TCU played in the four tournaments rated the toughest by Golfweek.com. The Nike Golf Collegiate Invite, held last year at Colonial Country Club, minutes from the TCU campus in Fort Worth, was rated the toughest collegiate tournament in the country last season. The Carmel Cup, held at world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links, was rated second. The Southern Highlands Collegiate, held in Las Vegas, ranked third and the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate ranked fourth.
"I've always felt that if we can play against the best teams in the country, then that will give us an opportunity to be the most ready at the end of the year," said Montigel.
Montigel's strategy has held true as his TCU teams have qualified for an NCAA Regional in each of the last 28 seasons and advanced to 16 NCAA Championships.
"I think that's been one of the big selling points for TCU," said Montigel. "If they come to TCU, they are going to play in the best tournaments against the best kids."
Playing against the best kids usually means playing against the best teams. Last season, 99 of the 178 teams TCU faced were ranked in the top 100, 56 were ranked in the top 25.
This season, TCU once again will face the best teams in the country. TCU already played in The Carmel Cup to open the year. The Frogs will play in the Nike Golf Collegiate Invite again, this time held in North Plains, Ore. The Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate will wrap-up the fall season where 11 of the 15 teams competing are ranked in the GCAA Preseason Top 25.
The spring season is highlighted with trips to golf courses at vacation destinations such as Waikoloa, Hawaii and Hilton Head, S.C. as well as the challenging Southern Highlands Collegiate in Las Vegas.
Last season, TCU competed at Chambers Bay in Washington, site of the 2015 U.S. Open.
"It's one of the reasons I came to TCU," said junior Pierre Mazier. "We play some of the top golf courses, ones that host PGA Tour events. It's tough sometimes when you are a freshman to come in and play this competition, but by your junior and senior year, it gets you to another level."
This year's TCU roster has eight juniors, six who came to Fort Worth as freshmen and have experienced the consistency of Montigel's method of scheduling tournaments.
"Ever since we've been here as freshmen, we've gone to the same tournaments so we know what to expect," said junior Turner MacLean, a native of Fort Worth. "You feel like you belong with playing with some of the best teams in the country. You don't get nervous when you step on the first tee and play against a team like Oklahoma State because you are used to it."
Most recreational golfers dream of playing courses like Pebble Beach. MacLean knows how fortunate he is to have made the trip the past three years. TCU is just one of eight schools to get an invitation to play in the annual event, started six years ago by TCU alum Fin Ewing.
"It's something that we enjoy doing and most look forward to," said MacLean. "It's Pebble Beach. It's one of the coolest places in the world. We've been lucky enough to have been invited by Mr. Ewing and hopefully we can continue to do that if we keep playing well. It's awesome. We love it."
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