Men’s golf prepares for upcoming season with trio of new players

Spinnaker

With its first regular-season tournament at the end of January and three new recruits added to the fall roster, UNF golf has a lot to be excited about.

Head coach Scott Schroeder insists he and his squad have been preparing as much as possible in order to be successful.

“Golf is one of those sports where players prepare individually,” said Schroeder. “Because of that, everyone is working on something different. They all have different aspects of their game that they need to improve.”

Schroeder is confident his team can repeat the success recent UNF golf teams have achieved, citing experience as a positive facet of the squad.

“We have the ability to compete with everyone in the country,” he said. “They are a veteran group of players, a steady group. Almost everyone has been here for at least two years, and the five guys that travel have played at least two years of college golf, so they are acquainted with the pressure.”

In regard to the three recent signings, Schroeder is confident they will all have a positive impact on the program. Taylor Johnson, a Wisconsin native who currently plays at Brevard Community College, will be red-shirted his first year.

“He’s a big strong kid who was late coming into golf and didn’t really get serious about the sport until he was 16,” Schroeder said. “He’s going to be red shirted next year, because we will have three or four seniors, but he will bring a different skill set to some of the guys we already have.”

Joe Petronio from Orlando and M.J. Maguire from St. Petersburg will also be new additions in the fall. Schroeder admitted he expects big things from the incoming freshmen.

“Joe Petronio has never traveled outside the state to play, but he is very talented and has a really good golf swing,” Schroeder said. “Maguire is possibly our most talented kid coming in. He has had a lot of national exposure and has played with some of the best kids of his age in the country, so college golf shouldn’t be too much of a transition for him.”

Petronio attends Olympia High School and is currently ranked 159th in the country by Golfweek and 112th on the Junior Golf Scoreboard. Maguire attends St. Pete High School and currently ranks 58th in the country by Golfweek and 73th on the Junior Golf Scoreboard.

Senior Chris Kennedy is also looking forward to the season and explained how the team has been doing extra conditioning to maximize their performance.

“We are all just trying to get ready for the season,” Kennedy said. “Personally, I’ve been working on my overall game, but as a team we do conditioning on Tuesday and Saturday. We walk 36 holes so you have to be in decent shape, so we have done a lot of running.”

Kennedy said the team can do as well as they have in recent seasons.

“I don’t see why not, we have the mindset right now that we are going to win the tournament,” Kennedy said. “We have a ton of talent and the right personnel to do it, so we are all very confident.”

The Jacksonville University Invitational at Ponte Vedra Beach will begin Jan. 31.