MG: Mavericks open season at Kiawah Island Invitational

Paul McConnell is the top returner for the UTA golf team.

ARLINGTON, Texas – The UT Arlington men’s golf team is poised and ready to make their first and last year in the Western Athletic Conference one to remember. The Mavericks 2012-13 season tees off Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Kiawah Island Invitational on one of the country's top courses.

"Kiawah Island, where they recently had the PGA Championship, is a great venue and will really get people excited," UTA head golf coach Jay Rees said.

Rees is also enthusiastic about his talented group of men that he thinks can lead them to a WAC championship. Freshman Riley Fleming will be in the mix for the Mavs right away, despite being one of the younger members on the team.

"Fleming is arguably the top junior in Canada and won both the Alberta Amateur and B.C. Amateur this summer," Rees said.

For the returners, senior Paul McConnell is expected to take the lead and continue his success on the course. McConnell played 34 rounds in 2011-12 and averaged 73.03 for the season, the best on the squad.

"McConnell is our MVP, especially winning the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic last year," Rees said.

McConnell will have help from three other returners to take the reins this season.

"We've returned four of our top six guys, McConnell, Hunter Brown, Cameron Hollek, and Cash Wilkerson, and they all made the NCAA regionals last season," Rees said.



Brown, who also played 34 rounds in 2011-12, averaged a team second-best 73.91. Hollek averaged 74.62 in his 29 rounds played while Wilkerson averaged 76.20 in 25 rounds.

Rees believes this collection of returners and newcomers can accomplish something special over the upcoming school year.

"We're only going to keep getting better," he said. "It's all about peaking for the WAC Championship. Being that we're only going to be in the WAC for one, winning a title would be something to be proud of for the athletic department and the golf program."

The Mavericks will compete in five tournaments this fall with the complete schedule available here. Check with for updates from the Kiawah Island Invitational.


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