The men’s golf season tees off on Sept. 8 in the Carpet Capital Collegiate tournament. This will be the first year in Knoxville for new head coach Brennan Webb, who has spent his last three seasons coaching at MTSU.
Coach Webb seemed to find success in his last two seasons at MTSU, guiding them to the 2018 C-USA Championship and two back-to-back NCAA Regional Appearances. During his tenure, Webb has also coached the reigning C-USA Freshman of the Year, Tyler Johnson. Johnson, along with teammate Chip Thomas, transferred to the University of Tennessee following Webb’s hiring.
Webb will be taking over for Jim Kelson, who retired in June.
Webb’s first task will be finding a leader, a voice among the men who will help establish the tone of his first season in a new program.
“A couple of them have stepped up out of their comfort zone and taken on a leadership role that they may not have had in the past,” Webb said. “They have kind of shared that role as we get going. Right now, it’s kind of a shared leadership by committee.”
Webb spoke highly of his transfers, Johnson and Thomas, and his experience with them.
“They are familiar with my coaching style and what my expectations are and what I expect my players to give in effort and desire and what’s required of them to excel to my level of expectations,” Webb said. “From a talent standpoint they are two guys that were ranked inside the top 200 in the country last year who both can play at the highest level.”
Juniors Rhys Nevin, Jake Meenhorst, Hunter Wolcott, and Brayden Garrison will participate alongside Johnson in the Carpet Capital Collegiate for the Vols.
Last year’s squad, led by former Vol Lorenzo Scalise, found a bit of success at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, finishing tied for fifth place out of 15 teams. This year there will be some familiar faces in the cup since Nevin, Meenhorst and Garrison competed in the event last year.
The Vols didn’t end the year last season like they may have wanted, finishing ninth out of 14 teams in the SEC tournament. This mark is, however, an improvement from the 2016-2017 season, which saw the Vols finish 13th.
The fall portion of this year’s golf season will see only two tournaments before the winter break. The Carpet Capital Collegiate tournament will start off the new season on Sept. 8.
The second tournament, the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate in Jonesborough, Tennessee, will take place from Oct. 13-15. The Vols fared well in last year’s early season tournaments, and this group should look to build on their prior success.
There is a bit of unknown surrounding the men’s golf program since changes in leadership and expectations seem to be large in Knoxville. However, Webb is confident in the players that he will field and the season they will have.
“I think they are very, very talented,” Webb said. “From a physical standpoint, they are as good as anybody. We certainly have a lot of depth on the roster this year with the guys that came with me from Middle (Tennessee) and the recruiting class that came with me from Middle as well.”