Senior Wes Worster leads the Mavericks to their first conference golf championship since 2005
All year, coach Jay Rees implored his golfers to finish strong. And so they did at the Southland Conference Championship in April.
Four birdies on the final hole propelled UT Arlington to its fourth SLC title and first since 2005. The team finished with a three-day, 2-under 862—10 strokes better than second-place Lamar—at Waterchase Golf Course in Fort Worth.
“Everybody contributed,” says Rees, who won his second SLC title in 12 years as coach. “It’s not easy. The conference gets better every year. Five or six teams are in the top 100 in the nation, so to come out on top is really an accomplishment.”
The Mavericks held an early seven-shot lead before defending champion Southeastern Louisiana mounted a charge to pull ahead. With the tournament hanging in the balance, Rees and assistant coach Stuart Powell urged the golfers to finish like champions.
“The plan came to fruition,” Rees says. “The greatest plan in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t execute. But they did execute the plan.”
Senior Wes Worster led the way with a third-place individual finish. His 2-under 214 equaled the fifth best in a conference tournament in school history. Senior Zack Fischer tied for fifth at 215. Other team members were sophomore Paul McConnell and freshmen Hunter Brown and Carson Kallis.
Worster and Fischer were named first-team all-conference. Fischer paced the Mavericks with a stroke average of 72.58, and Worster was second with a 73.12. McConnell, a transfer from Colorado, was named the conference’s Newcomer of the Year and was a second-team all-SLC selection.
Rees earned his third conference Coach of the Year award. He also received the honor in 2005 and 2009.
UT Arlington won three tournaments during the season, the most in Rees’ tenure. The 10-stroke margin of victory is the ninth largest in school history in any tournament and third best in a conference championship.
The title earned the Mavericks a berth in the NCAA Southwest Regional in Tucson, Ariz., where they finished 12th.