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Louisiana Tech aims for WAC Titles

April 25, 2013

Junior Jack Lempke prepares for a put in a previous tournament. Lempke looks to help the Bulldogs get a victory in the 2013 WAC Tournament. – Submitted photo

Bulldog golf prepares for 2013 WAC Tournament at Rio Secco

 

DEVIN KING
Sports Reporter

 

As the Louisiana Tech men’s golf season comes to a conclusion in April, the team still has one golf tournament left — the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Henderson, Nev.

 

“For us to win the WAC tournament, they (the Tech golf team) will have to keep the ball in play off the tee,” said Jeff Parks, head golf coach. “This field is different because everybody in the conference is so close in ranking. I feel like we have a great chance of winning the WAC Tournament.”

 

The 2013 WAC golf tournament will be held Monday through Wednesday at the Rio Secco Golf Club.

 

Parks sees the WAC tournament as a golden opportunity for the Bulldogs, and one big reason is because of freshman golfer Victor Lange.

 

“In his first collegiate start, he won his first event and was highly ranked in the spring,” Parks said. “He has a lot of confidence and momentum heading into the conference tournament.”

 

Parks also said he was excited that junior golfer Travis Wilmore won an individual tournament.

 

“We got off to a good start in the fall, with four top five finishes,” Parks said. “Despite how the spring part of the season went, we had six Top 10 finishes heading into the WAC tournament.”

 

Even though the Bulldogs have had success this season, according to golfweek.com, they are ranked 97th in the nation.

 

“We are currently ranked second in the conference,” Parks said. “I feel like from our standpoint, we were ranked higher in the fall, but since the spring we have fallen off.”

 

The instant challenges for the Bulldogs are dealing with the obstacle they face at the WAC tournament.

 

“It is more target golf at this golf course, and it is out in the desert. The altitude will cause the ball to go about seven percent farther,” Parks said. “The hardest part for them is staying committed to the golf club they choose. If they (the Tech golf team) hit a pitching wedge 150 yards at Squire Creek they will have to adjust, because at Rio Secco Golf Club it will go 165 yards.”

 

Despite the challenges the Bulldogs face on the course, Parks said each school in the WAC is only allowed to send five players to the WAC tournament.

 

“My top five players are based upon how they played in tournaments, their scoring averages, and how well they played against each other in practice,” Parks said.

 

Parks said he is sending senior captain Sam Forgan, junior golfer Jack Lempke, freshman golfer Ben Robinson, Lange and Wilmore.

 

“Sam is a senior and has participated in the WAC tournament before, so he knows what to expect,” Parks said. “This will be his last year to compete in the WAC tournament, so it will be exciting to see how he handles the pressure of possibly playing his last event.”

 

If the Bulldogs can manage to win the WAC tournament, they will go to Tech’s first-ever regional tournament, and Parks is determined to see Tech make history.

 

“Last year we had a good chance and barely missed it,” Parks said. “This year my goal was not to be a bubble team, but we slipped into that, so we have to win the WAC tournament.”

 

Parks believes the Bulldogs have a great chance of winning the WAC tournament if they continue to build upon things that they have worked on.

 

“We have been working hard on the mental side of the game — controlling only what we can control,” Parks said.

 

Email comments to dki008@latech.edu.

 

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