April 12, 2013
Tournament: Morris Williams Invitational (47th year)
Location: The University of Texas Golf Club (Austin, Texas)
Dates: April 13-14
Format: 54 holes (36-Saturday, 18-Sunday)
ARLINGTON, Texas – “Consistently inconsistent” is how UT Arlington golf coach Jay Rees termed it. That, in a nutshell, describes the Mavericks going into the Morris Williams Invitational this weekend in Austin. The two-day tournament at The University of Texas Golf Club runs Saturday and Sunday.
The Morris Williams is annually one of the top tournaments in the country. The 12-team field includes 11 teams ranked nationally in the top 50. The University of Texas Golf Club course is 7,412 yards and plays as a par-71.
“It's a great field. It's a great opportunity,” Rees said. “I'm just hoping that we make the most of our opportunity. I know everyone is eager to compete again. This break has been good for us. They know what we have to do and how to be better. They have to find a way to be consistent over a longer period of time.”
As a team, the Mavericks have reached the top of the leaderboard at one point in three tournaments this season. But they've suffered lapses in each, displaying the level of consistent inconsistency that's baffled Rees at times.
“When we've made a mistake, we've compounded it with another mistake and another mistake and that's what's hurt us,” Rees said. “The best thing we can do is to continue to be positive and keep the morale up. Focus on what is working and keep getting better. That's what we need to be doing.”
He knows the talent is there to challenge for tournament titles. He also points out that unless the Mavericks can harness that talent from hole-to-hole and round-to-round, top finishes will continue to elude the team.
“We're just trying to get more confidence each day and get the guys to believe in their abilities,” Rees said. “We never would have led those tournaments if we didn't have talent. We just need to maintain that level of great golf. The potential is there to shoot a great number.
“The consistency hasn't been there to finish what we started. I do believe we can do it. We've talked about what you can control, which is your mind set and go out with a strong positive belief that we can compete.”
Rees is coaching from the par-3s and par-5s this weekend, while assistant coach Stuart Powell is staying with McConnell.
Tournament History: The tournament is held annually in memory of former University of Texas golf star Morris Williams, Jr., who died in a plane crash while serving in the Air Force in 1953.
An Austin native, Williams became the city’s youngest junior champion at age 13 and dominated the local golf scene for the next several years. He starred on the Longhorns’ teams from 1947-50 and led Texas to Southwest Conference championships in 1947, 1948 and 1950. In his final year (1950), Williams was runner-up in the NCAA Championship as UT finished second in the team competition.
Upon graduation, Williams joined the Air Force and posted an undefeated record in service golf tournaments. He perished shortly after his victory in the Worldwide Air Force Championship. Former medalists at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate include such names as Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Brad Elder, Bob Estes, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson and Payne Stewart.
Television Coverage: Longhorn Network will air Morris Williams Invitational broadcasts on April 27 from 7-8 p.m. (day one highlights) and April 28 from 7-8 p.m. (day two highlights).
2012 Champion: Texas (843, -9)
2012 Medalist: Texas’ Dylan Frittelli, Jordan Spieth and Julio Vegas (208, -5)
Yardage (Par): 7,412 (71)
Tee Times: 8:15 a.m. Central Saturday (shotgun), 8:00 – 9:39 a.m. Sunday (split-tee).
Field (12 teams, including 11 Top 50): No. 3 Texas, No. 4 New Mexico, No. 7 TCU, No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 18 Kent State, No. 26 Houston, No. 30 UNLV, No. 34 North Texas, No. 36 Liberty, No. 42 Texas Tech, No. 43 Baylor, No. 95 UT Arlington. Rankings based on latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index (April 7, 2013).
Live scoring: Available on GolfStat.com.
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