Golf team prepares to come out swinging

The Florida A&M men’s golf team is gearing up for its upcoming season. The team will compete in the Hall of Fame Tournament, hosted by the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, this weekend.

The 2013-14 season has a new sense of optimism because the MEAC will recognize golf as a championship sport. Teams will compete for the inaugural championship in April.

Head coach Marvin Green returns to lead his 13th team. Green has lofty goals. He said senior Justin Stills of Pensacola, Fla., and junior Anthony Phipps of Orlando are the team’s leaders.

“Expectations are high,” Green said. “The new talent we have is phenomenal.

We are led by Stills and Phipps, but our young guys are eager, hungry and very competitive. They want to finish tournaments strong and win the MEAC championship.”

The golf team is returning five players from last season, according to Green. The team had three top-3 finishes but did not earn a first-place finish.

Phipps expects the team to excel this season.

“I’m very excited with our season outlook this year,” he said. “Our team is deep, and we are aiming to win the MEAC championship. We have several team goals, and one of them is to bring more campus-wide awareness to the golf program.”

With Stills being one of the returning seniors, he said he understands just what this year’s team is capable of.

“We need to focus on the small things like swings techniques and course management, but we can’t do that if we worry about the other teams,” Stills said. “We’ve spent a lot of time together, and that has helped us grow as a team.”

In last year’s tournament, both Stills and Phipps registered their best 36-hole scores at 6-under 68 and 2-under 70 respectively.

With such familiarity and success at the course, the team is confident about its chances to come home with a tournament victory. If the team is able to break through and win, it would be the first tournament victory in four years.

The golf team is looking forward to trying to reverse that trend and have a good showing in the 36-hole event in Atlanta.