Redbirds to Face Competitive Field in Mobile
Feb. 19, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's golf team will compete at the 15-team Mobile Bay Intercollegiate at the par-72, 7,160 yard Magnolia Grove Crossings Golf Course in Mobile, Ala., Monday and Tuesday.
Head men's golf coach Ray Kralis looks forward to seeing how his team will respond to a challenging field of competitors.
"We're excited to get back into a stroke-play format," Kralis said. "We've showed signs thus far that we're a better team than in the fall, and I'm encouraged by the positives we were able to take from our last two events. The margin of error is always tight, but it's even tighter when you put this many strong teams together. We have enough of a fundamental base under us, but this will require a higher level of focus throughout, and I think we're ready to handle it. We've got competitors on our team and we want this kind of field."
"Since he arrived in the fall, Matt Solis has been very consistent for us," Kralis said. "He's very steady with his ball striking and he's good at managing his misses so that they don't get him into too much trouble. I look for him to continue to put up good numbers for us. Ryan Murphy put a lot of work in during the offseason and came up with a great performance at The Match Play. He's got to trust himself, and trust that he has put in the time and effort to put in a great performance this week. I look for both of those guys to continue their strong play from last week. Additionally, even though we may have had a few holes get away from us at The Match Play, there's no doubt that Eric, Wils and Ricky are all stronger now than in the fall. We will need a team effort, and I think collectively we have a great group going and I'm excited to see how it shakes out."
Additionally, Matt Hageman will make his spring debut by competing individually. Hageman will also be playing on a separate course from the rest of the team, the par-71, 7,051 yard Magnolia Grove Falls Golf Course.
"I was really pleased to see how he finished in the fall," Kralis said. "He took advantage of the opportunity and gave us some good numbers. The feedback we have been getting during practice indicates that he has been making strides, and I believe that Matt's best days are still in front of him. He's ready to go compete at this intercollegiate, and I'm looking forward to seeing the results."
The strong field at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate will include Akron, Arkansas State, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana Lafayette, Memphis, Mercer, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Toledo, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
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