published Monday, April 7th, 2014

Chattanooga Mocs need strong finish to regular season

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's golf season hasn't measured up to the high standards coach Mark Guhne has set with previous teams.

But the season isn't over.

"It's been a good season; it just hasn't been like the rest of them," Guhne said. "We're about to fix that."

The Mocs, ranked No. 58 in the country by GolfWeek, have one final tournament before competing in the Southern Conference championship. They're playing in the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship in West Point, Miss., today and Tuesday.

UTC (60-61-1) needs a top-six finish in the 14-team field to gets its season record over .500 which is a requirement to earn an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament.

"A couple of tournaments ago, I backed them against the wall and said, 'Boys, we need to get this together or we're not going to be playing in May," Guhne said. "They've been playing better each time, so we can build on that this weekend."

Guhne said his team has settled into a rotation of Liam Johnston, Wes Gosselin, Ewan Scott, Chris Robb and Davis Bunn. Four other players have also competed this season for UTC.

"It's been an interesting season," said Bunn, a senior. "For the most part we've been trying to figure out who the fifth man is and been trying to get five guys clicking on all cylinders."

The Mocs have played the 27th hardest schedule in the country, according to GolfWeek. Still, the players admit, that's no reason for a sub-par season.

"It's been a poor season for our standards," Robb said. "Everyone is playing mediocre. Nobody is playing like a standout, and we seniors need to be putting up lower numbers."

If the Mocs do not finish the regular season with more wins than losses, then they'll need to win the SoCon championship in order to play in an NCAA Regional.

"It's simple," Guhne said. "I was talking with Stuart [Thomas] and he said, 'You just have to believe.' I'm like, let me tell that to Russ [Huesman] and Will [Wade] and see how that flies.

"When it comes down to it, Stuart is right."

The Mocs have the talent and capability to win Tuesday then finish the SoCon tournament with a trophy on April 22.

"Everybody is starting to improve and get in a groove," Bunn said. "I think we're heading in the right direction."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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