When head golf coach Brandt Kieschnick set up the schedule, he wanted one that would be challenging. This weekend will be one of the biggest tests he has place before his team this season.
On Friday the Bearkats will head to Humble for the All-American Intercollegiate and will face one of the toughest fields in the country, including three teams currently ranked in the top 15.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity. We enjoy and embrace the opportunity to compete against these guys,” Kieschnick said. “We have been off for two and a half months, so we have been putting in a lot of competitions against each other to get them ready.”
The event will be held at The Golf Club of Houston, home of the PGA’s Shell Houston Open. It is also a course the Bearkats a very familiar with. Several of the Kats have played numerous tournaments on the course, including Jake McCrory who has won junior tournaments on the course.
“We finished second here a few years back and we know this course,” Kieschnick said. “We will be very familiar with the course. There won’t be any surprises, we just have to go out and execute.”
Among the top teams in the field, Baylor is ranked No. 5 by GolfStat while Auburn is ranked No. 8. Sitting just outside the top 10 is Wake Forrest, a top ACC school which is currently ranked No. 13. Two other teams in the field are ranked in the top 50 with South Carolina at No. 34 and Ole Miss at 47. The Kats are just outside the top 50, currently sitting at No. 62.
The Bearkats are scheduled to tee off at 8:30 and they will be paired with UTSA and North Texas for the opening round of the tournament.
It will be the first action for the Bearkats since the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational in Hawaii on Oct. 30-31. After a long layoff, Kieschnick likes that they will have a tough tournament.
“We are in our stretch of some big-time national tournaments,” he said. “I think the guys recognize that and will respond. We talk about playing our best golf this time of year and it starts this weekend.”