By Andrew D. Holt Chattanooga (UTC/The Loop)
Mocs head golf coach Mark Guhne was more than pleased with his team’s start to the season.
The Mocs began their fall season by claiming a second-place finish at the Carpet Capital Collegiate last weekend at the Farm in Rocky Face, Ga.
This was the same tournament the team won last year en route to UTC’s first-ever No. 1 ranking in any sport.
“I was very pleased with their play,” Guhne said. “We actually shot a better score this year than we did last year, and we have to take our hats off to Tennessee for playing so well.”
The difference this year, however, was the school just up the road in Knoxville. The Vols ran away with the tournament title by shooting a 14-under par score of 274 while the Mocs finished with an even-par score of 288.
Guhne said all five players who played in the tournament played well, but said he was particularly happy with the play of sophomore Stephan Jaeger, who fired a second round 66, which proved to be a key for the Mocs’ runner-up finish.
Jaeger, a native of Munich, Germany, finished the tournament in a tie for third place as an individual.
“I started slow,” Jaeger said of his first round. “But my second day was pretty amazing because I didn’t make a lot of mental mistakes.”
Jaeger said his second round score could have been even lower but he is happy with the team’s start. The Germany native said he is also happy to be playing at UTC.
After originally planning to come to the United States for one year as an exchange student, Jaeger ended up spending two full years at The Baylor School – the place he would earn his high school degree.
“It was kind of a last-minute decision for me to stay at Baylor for the second year,” said Jaeger, the 2008 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. “Originally, I had planned to go back home and graduate high school in Germany.”
Having lived near a golf course in Germany, Jaeger was familiar with golf growing up but it was not until he was around 10 years old that he started playing seriously.
“I played soccer but my whole family played golf, so it was bound to happen sooner or later,” he said of his decision to concentrate on golf. “I’m glad I started playing because I can’t see myself playing soccer now.”
Seniors Fredrick Qvicker of Stockholm, Sweden and Derek Rende of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., finished tied for 17th and 20th, respectively. Freshman Steven Fox from Hendersonville, Tenn., was solid as well, finishing in a tie for 24th, while senior J.T. Clendenin of Acworth, Ga., finished 33rd.
The Mocs are off this weekend before traveling to Seattle, Wash. for the PING/Golfweek Invitational Sept. 27-28. The 54-hole tournament will be played in two days at the Gold Mountain Golf Club.
- Chattanooga topped Tennessee by five shots at last year’s Carpet Capital Collegiate
- Jaeger tied for second in par three scoring at two-under par. Rende was one back at minus one. Jaeger played the par fours at a team-best level par. Qvicker was the team leader playing the par fives at five-under par.