After two tournaments on the road, The University of Tampa golf team is set to host the annual Spartan Invitational this weekend. The event will be held Oct. 12-13 at Rogers Park Golf Course in Tampa. The Spartan Invitational is UT’s third event of the team’s season.
The team competed in two tournaments in September: the Webber Invitational in Lake Wales and the Flagler Invitational in St. Augustine.
UT opened the season finishing 10th out of 14 teams in the Webber Invitational Sept. 19-20.
Individually, Scott Serwa was the top Spartan golfer in the tournament, finishing ninth overall.
His performance included an impressive score of 67 in the first round.
UT markedly improved as a team at the Flagler Invitational Sept. 28-29.
The Spartans posted a fifth place finish in a 15-team field, shooting a combined 919 in three rounds.
Only Valdosta State, Flagler, South Carolina-Beaufort and SCAD finished ahead of UT.
Junior Kris Shane was UT’s top golfer in the Flagler Invitational, shooting 220 and tying for third place overall.
Shane shot a 71 in each of the first two rounds followed by a final round 78. He was also the leading individual shooter of the second round.
“Overall we’re getting better,” Shane said. “I see a lot of improvement. Everybody’s attitude is positive.”
Shane also said he expects the team to be competitive next season as they gain experience.
He attributed many of their mistakes so far this year to nerves.
As the players become more experienced, they look up to a tenured head coach.
Rick Christie is in his 15th season as the UT golf coach.
The 1970 University of South Florida graduate came to UT from his alma mater, where he served as an assistant manager and women’s head golf coach.
“Coach is really good,” Shane said. “He knows what he’s talking about. He’s helped me out a lot these past few years.”
Coach Christie and company now look forward to their next tournament.
The Spartan Invitational gives UT a chance to be the host school.
While there has not historically been a distinct “home field advantage” (UT finished 8th of 12, T-6th of 10, and 5th of 7 in the three most recent Spartan Invitationals) the tournament is still an opportunity for the team to compete in familiar territory.
Rogers Park Golf Course is located at 7911 N. 30th St. For more on the course, visit http://www.rogersparkgc.com.
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