By Ben Molnar, The Miami Student
Five RedHawk golfers travel to University of Toledo Monday to compete in the Inverness Intercollegiate tournament. Senior Jack Sparling and Bud Radis, juniors Greg Conrad and Jared Hammons and sophomore Patrick Flavin are the Miami qualifiers.
Twelve teams are set to compete in the tournament. The highest-ranking teams playing are No. 8 South Florida, No. 39 East Tennesee State, No. 41 Charlotte, No. 69 Yale, No. 78 Memphis, No. 79 Liberty, No. 84 Michigan State, No. 86 Mercer and No. 99 Kent State.
These teams made the top 100 of the Golfstat collegiate rankings published June 8, 2015.
No. 110 Miami, No. 164 Austin Peay and unranked Alabama-Birmingham make up the rest of the field.
Conrad feels the Red and White have just as much of a chance in the tournament as the other eleven teams.
"I think we can play at just as much of a competitive level as everyone else," he said. "We have a lot of talent and a lot of experience, and coming off of a MAC Championship motivates us even more."
The 'Hawks are confident in their chances to win, although Sparling, the team captain, is relatively new to the course.
"This is our first year competing in Toledo's event," Sparling said. "I've seen the golf course once before for a tournament this summer so it's still pretty new to me."
Nevertheless, Sparling is confident in his team's chances.
"The guys have been working hard to get their game in a good spot. Everyone has been working hard, so I feel like we're in a good spot to give ourselves a chance to win," he said.
According to the seasoned senior, it's all about preparation and getting off to a good start in the tournament.
"It's our first tournament of the season so it's important for us to get off to a good start," he said. "I think everyone has a lot of confidence going into the tournament."
Senior golfer Daniel Schwarz shares a similar viewpoint.
"The upcoming tournament at Inverness means a great deal for the Miami golf program, as it's our first tournament of the year," Schwarz said. "It's important for us to get off to a good start and have five guys that are ready to go."
Senior golfer Bailey Truesdell said the preparation for the first event of the season and the preparation for other events are different this year.
"Preparation leading up to the first tournament has been a little different than in years past," he said. "We have been doing more team-wide competitions throughout the week and have competed at some of the area's most difficult courses on the weekends to prepare us for Inverness. The team is prepared to play well and anxious to go defend our MAC Championship."
Conrad said this preparation is key to Miami's success in the tournament.
"I think we've prepared well," Conrad said. "I think there's a lot of competition among us. Everyone is comfortable with their playing level, with whatever tournaments they played in over the summer to get better for the season."
The RedHawks are excited to represent Miami at such a large tournament.
"Representing Miami golf at a great venue will be exciting for the entire RedHawk community," Schwarz said.
The first round of the tournament begins Monday, and the second round begins Tuesday.