Blue Demon Golfers Look to be Title Contenders in New BIG EAST
Aug 28, 2013
CHICAGO – DePaul’s golfers are ready to take their shot at contending for a BIG EAST Championship title and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
They realize this is their opportunity to establish a foothold in the upper tier of the revised conference. Of the six golf programs coming over to the new league, DePaul had the second-highest finish at the BIG EAST Championship last season---behind only conference runner-up St. John’s.
Of the new teams joining the BIG EAST, Xavier was fourth and Butler 11th in the Atlantic 10 meet and Creighton eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Blue Demons’ sixth-place finish at the 2013 BIG EAST tournament was its highest since coming in fifth in 2007.
“Over the years, we have competed against schools that have won their conferences and gone on to compete in the NCAA tournament,” said DePaul golf coach Betty Kaufmann. “That is one of my goals.
“The past five years, we have gotten quality practice facilities both on and off campus that have really helped with recruiting. I feel we can compete in the top half of the conference and have a legitimate chance of winning the conference and going to the NCAA tournament.
“We are excited about the new BIG EAST. We have nine golf schools that are very similar in philosophy and also face the same weather challenges of being in the Midwest or Northeast.”
The Blue Demons peaked at just the right time last spring, recording their lowest tournament score of the season at the BIG EAST tournament and finishing that event with the year’s best final-round score.
“We had a solid team last year but never really played to our potential until after spring break,” Kaufmann said. “The golfers worked hard at everything we tried to teach them, and I think maybe they started to believe in themselves towards the end of the season.
“What began to happen was they all tried to enjoy playing golf and dealing with the ups and downs that this sport gives all of us.”
Kaufmann expects some talented returnees to step to the forefront beginning with the season-opening Windon Memorial Sept. 22-23 at Knollwood Club in north suburban Lake Forest. The 2013-14 BIG EAST Championship takes place April 28-30 at the Callawassie Island Country Club in Okatie, S.C.
“I will be leaning on Moritz Ackerhans and Jan Juelicher to lead on the course this season,” Kaufmann said. “Adrian Halimi and Moritz Hausweiler got some great experience and that will also help us tremendously.
“We have four incoming freshmen that have impressive resumes, so our early success will depend on how quickly they transition with school and competition.”
The Blue Demon coach knows what her golfers can achieve in 2013-14.
“More than ever, we will concentrate on our short game and really look to improve that area so we can lower our scoring average,” she said. “We have a solid schedule that should prepare the team, and these guys will be ready to compete at each tournament.
“I am excited with the progress we made last year, and with the incoming recruits and returning players, we should have some quality depth.”