The University of Louisville men’s golf team has been itching to get back on the course after a successful run to the NCAA Championships last year.
After a long summer, the wait is over as the Cardinals open the fall season at the Rod Meyers Invitational in Durham, N.C.
The Cardinals, who are ranked No. 12 in the nation by Golfweek, open with a practice round on Friday morning before playing two rounds on Saturday and the final 18 holes on Sunday.
“We’re excited to get started,” head coach Mark Crabtree said. “It will be a great challenge this weekend at the Duke tournament. They always very strong field with the likes of Duke, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. We’ve had three weeks of competition for the team leading up to our start and believe we are ready to go.”
A total of 13 teams competing in the 10th annual tournament. Louisville joins Charlotte, Cincinnati, Duke, East Carolina, Liberty, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Princeton, UNC Greensboro, Toledo, and Wake Forest in the event being played on Duke University Golf Club.
Crabtree returns for his 21st season at the helm, and is excited by the outlook of the 2019 season as he returns five lettermen from a team that finished 29th at the NCAA Championships last season.
Last season saw the Cardinals take home one tournament win, and finished in the top five in 11 other events, advancing to the NCAA Regionals for the 11th time in school history.
Louisville returns first team preseason All-American Matthias Schmid, who set the school’s single-season stroke average mark last year. Playing in 13 events in 2018-19, Schmid finished in the top in the top five on seven occasions and produced 10 top-10 finishes.
Matthias had a terrific summer, winning the European Amateur and qualifying for the British Open,” Crabtree said. “He certainly is one of the best players in all of college golf. I am so impressed with his personal motivation, focus, and attention to his improvement plan.”
The native of Maxvette, Germany posted a second-place standing at the NCAA Louisville Regional, including a school-best 66 in the first round. He owns one of the three individual wins over the course of the season. Schmid dominated the field at the Old Town Club Collegiate on Sept. 24-25, firing an 18-under-par 192 to earn his first career.
Seniors Devin Morley and John Murphy are two veterans who will stabilize the lineup with experience and talent. Morley posted a 72.68 stroke average, while totaling two top-10 finishes year and Murpy recorded one top-five ending and four in the top 10.
Sophomore Jiri Zuska was third on the team in stroke average at 71.82 and recorded three finishes in the top 5. Keegan de Lange, who was one of the top players in 2017-18 , returns to the starting lineup after redshirting last season.