GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s golf team opens the 2017-18 season this weekend when it travels to Durham, N.C., for the annual Rod Myers Invitational hosted the Duke Golf Course. The two-day, 54-hole event will be played Saturday and Sunday. The Spartans will tee off Saturday from hole No. 10 between 8:22-9:00 a.m. to start the 36-hole day. Live scoring will be available via www.golfstatresults.com.
The field at the 2017 Rod Myers Invitational is a loaded 12-team group, featuring nine teams ranked in the top 100 in last year’s end of the year Golfstat rankings, including four top 25 teams. Highlighting the field with the No. 90 ranked Spartans includes No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 7 and national runner-up Oregon, No. 11 Wake Forest, No. 23 Duke, No. 48 Penn State, No. 49 Liberty, No. 80 Louisville, No. 94 East Carolina, UC Davis, ETSU and Princeton.
The Spartans enter the season after posting their third-straight runner-up finish at the Southern Conference Championships. UNCG returns four out of five starters from last year’s team. Sophomore Jonathan Brightwell (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) leads the way at the top of the lineup this weekend. Brightwell earned SoCon Freshman of the Year and All-SoCon honors after posting a 72.94 stroke average. He recorded four top-20 finishes last season, including finishing in the top-7 his last two events. He closed out last season by finishing tied for first overall at the SoCon Championships.
Senior Josh Stockwell (Aberdeen, N.C./Southern Pines) earned All-SoCon honors last season after recording a 72.71 stroke average. He tallied three top-20 showings last year, including a career-best fifth place finish at the SoCon Championships.
Junior Bryce Hendrix (Greenville, N.C./D.H. Conley) is third in the lineup this week after leading the team with a 72.32 stroke average. He tallied four top-10 finishes last season as the Spartans’ most consistent golfer, including a fourth place showing at the SoCon Championships.
The Spartans will welcome in two true freshmen into the lineup this weekend in Nick Lyerly (Salisbury, N.C./East Rowan) and Justin Emmons (Climax, N.C./Providence Grove). Lyerly was a two-time Carolinas Golf Association Junior Player of the Year and the youngest champion of the North Carolina amateur. Emmons was a four-time All-State selection and won the 2016 2A State Championship.
The Spartans will also have two playing as individuals this weekend in sophomores Ben Buben (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) and Michael Wicker (Rougemount, N.C./North Durham). Buben played in eight rounds last season with a 77.75 stroke average while Wicker played 11 rebounds with a 78.00 stroke average.
-- UNCG --