Fall of 2007 marks the ninth year as head coach of the CSU men’s golf team for Jamie Bermel and his Rams have high ambitions for the upcoming season.
Finishing 2006 ranked 53rd in the nation, the Rams return three of their top five golfers, highlighted by junior standout Zen Brown, CSU’s only 2006 All-Mountain West Conference member.
“My game has definitely gotten better. I’ve been working on sharpening up my short game and just continuing to learn new shots and sharpen things out,” Brown said. “Personally, I would like to finish in the top-75 in the collegiate rankings for golf and be on the All-American list. I’d like to lead this team by example, we have a good enough team that making nationals is a realistic goal.”
Last fall Brown finished four out of five tournaments in the top-ten, two of those in the top-five, and history has shown that his success will continue to grow as he is the only Ram golfer Bermel has ever coached to play every tournament since his arrival on campus his freshman year.
Brown isn’t the only name highlighting the men’s golf roster this season, as sophomores Riley Arp, Bryce Hanstad and Dustin Morris were ranked as the 10th overall freshmen impact class of 2006 by Golfstat.com, averaging just over 73 strokes per 18 holes.
“Everybody’s been through the routine; they’re not freshmen anymore and all three of them played very well this summer,” Bermel said. “Dustin Morris has been a real solid player for us and Riley Arp was pretty interchangeable last season with Derrick Whiting (who was a senior). My expectations this year are high and if our sophomores can play alongside (Zen Brown) I think we’ll be set.”
The golfer making the biggest impact over the summer was Hanstad, as he won the 104th Minnesota Golfers Association Amateur Golf Championship in July, finishing 1-over par with a score of 217 for the tournament.
“Winning (the MGA Amateur Championship) has certainly given me confidence coming into this year,” Hanstad said. “Last season my personal highlights were my two top-10 finishes (at Southern Utah and Brigham Young). I know that my game is there, it’s just a matter of putting everything together.”
If CSU can put everything together, the team could easily be in contention for the MWC Championships next April in Tucson, Ariz., but every goal in sports is a process and a matter of building one step on top of the other. That climb to the top starts next Saturday, Sept. 8 in Colorado Springs when the Rams compete in the Gene Miranda Invitational hosted by Air Force.
“I want to see solid golf. We have three guys that I’m 99 percent sure that will play in the top-five; we need to find four and five,” Bermel said. “We need to eliminate the mental mistakes. It’s not summer golf anymore, it’s team golf and every stroke counts.”
Projected top 5 golfers:
Zen Brown (junior), Bryce Hanstad (sophomore), Dustin Morris (sophomore), Riley Arp (RS sophomore), Sean McNamara (sophomore).