Wylie releases stout spring slate

Wylie releases stout spring slate

VIDEO: Randy Wylie Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Following a fall slate that was filled with ups and downs, the Carson-Newman men's golf team looks ahead to the spring docket that coach Randy Wylie has unveiled on Thursday.

C-N was ranked as high as eighth in the nation by the Golf Coaches Association of America poll in the fall. In the final group of rankings released for the fall slate, Carson-Newman was still receiving votes, sitting just outside of the top 25.

Wylie's team will take on five tournaments in the spring after closing the first half of its 2018-19 campaign with a ninth-place showing at the Shark Invitational. Through the fall, Wylie's group reeled in a win at the Cougar Invitational, the only top five finish the team saw in the stretch.

"There was just some good and some bad," Wylie said. "Some of our young guys got experience which was a really good thing."

The Eagles start the second half of their season with a pair of trips to the Sunshine State in February and a trek to the Palmetto State in early March, all before taking part in two events closer to home to close out the regular season before working to three-peat as the South Atlantic Conference champions in April.

C-N starts the spring in Jacksonville, Fla. for the Spring Kickoff at the St. Johns Golf Club on Feb. 11 and 12. This is the team's seventh appearance in the event hosted by Lincoln Memorial. Last year, the Eagles finished in fourth-place at the Fleming Island Golf Club, giving them their third-consecutive top five result in the event with a tie for fifth in 2017 and a second-place finish in 2016.

Jake Headrick (Maryville, Tenn.) led the Orange and Blue in the tournament with a share of second while Tom Forster (Oundle, England) tied for fourth, landing the pair on the All-Tournament team. This time around, the Eagles will face a different setting with the tournament taking place at a new course.

"I kind of like our team on a course that nobody has played because it's kind of equal across the board," Wylie said. "It's not like the other teams all know the golf course. I think we have a pretty clever team that can adjust to a course that they haven't played pretty quickly, and that's a skill that you learn through experience and time. I think that will experienced guys like Tom and Jake, we'll be able to gameplay that golf course pretty quickly and use that to our advantage."

Two weeks later, Carson-Newman will once again make its way to Florida, this time for the Saint Leo Invitational at the Lake Jovita Country Club in Tampa on Feb. 25 and 26. This is the fourth-time the Eagles have taken part in the tournament that they have finished fifth in for back-to-back seasons.

A quick one-week turnaround brings a new event for C-N at the Southern Tide Classic. The two-day tournament hosted by Coker and Limestone takes place at the Green Valley Country Club in Greenville, S.C. on March 4 and 5.

Following a week-long hiatus, the Eagles gear up for their fifth-straight appearance in the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate, hosted by Division-I Tennessee Tech, on the River Course at the nearby Sevierville Golf Club. C-N has back-to-back top-three performances in the event with a second-place showing last season after a win in 2017.

The top medalist in the event has been clad in Orange and Blue in that same span. Forster won it all last time with the second-lowest total score in SAC history with a 203 and his first career tournament win. Headrick was the victor in 2017 with an 11-under total of 205.

The first two days of April will take the Eagles to Windriver in Lenoir City, Tenn. for their regular season finale at the Tennessee River Rumble. In the team's previous four appearances in the event, C-N has never seen a finish outside of the top five and has won the tournament twice in the past three appearances.

The most recent win was in April 2018 at the Tennessee National Golf Club. The Eagles carded a 602 total through two rounds of play with Headrick tying for second in the field with a four-over total of 148, giving him a place on the All-Tournament team.

"We've had such good experiences at those tournaments that I feel like that's a really good prep for us going into the postseason," Wylie said of the two final regular season events.

This all will lead to the team's return to the SAC championship where Carson-Newman looks to be the first team to three-peat as the conference champions since Presbyterian from 2000-02.

Only three schools since 1990 have won three or more consecutive SAC titles, those being Elon with five-straight from 1990-94, Catawba with three from 1998-00 and Presbyterian with four from 2000-03. Catawba and Presbyterian were co-champions in the 2000 season.

"It's so exciting for everyone to have a chance to win three-straight," Wylie said. "We're just going to have to work hard. Our conference is stacked with really good teams. The depth of the conference has continued to improve so that is going to be a great challenge."

The SAC Championship takes the Eagles back to the Camden Country club where they finished tied for sixth in the season-opening Coker Fall Challenge back in September.

Carson-Newman looks to make its fourth-consecutive NCAA Division II Men's Golf South/Southeast Regional appearance where it has finished in a tie for ninth the past two seasons.  Last season, Forster became just the second Eagle since 2008 to gain a berth into the NCAA Championship as an individual, finishing in a tie for 63rd.

For all of the latest news on the men's golf team, stay glued to cneagles.com and stay up to date with @CNathletics on Twitter.


Feb. 11-12

Spring Kickoff Intercollegiate

St. Johns Golf Club

Jacksonville, Fla.

Feb. 25-26

Saint Leo Invitational

Lake Jovita Country Club

Tampa, Fla.

Mar. 4-5

Southern Tide Classic

Green Valley Country Club

Greenville, S.C.

Mar. 17-19

TTU Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate

Sevierville Golf Club - River Course

Sevierville, Tenn.

Apr. 1-2

Tennessee River Rumble


Lenoir City, Tenn.

Apr. 14-16

South Atlantic Conference Championship

Camden Country Club

Camden, S.C.

May 9-11

NCAA Division II Regional

Mission Inn Resort

Orlando, Fla.

May 20-24

NCAA Division II Finals

The Resort at Glade Springs

Daniels, W. Va.