Men’s golf sees peaks and valleys in 2010-11

Nate McCoy is known for being a calm and collected golfer.

Courtesy photo: ISU Athletics

Nate McCoy is known for being a calm and collected golfer.

Dean Berhow-Goll

This season for the ISU men’s golf team has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. The Cyclones played well enough to set the ISU record 54-hole score, and poorly enough to finish last in tournaments they could win.

“Some meets we played really well, but we struggled in a lot of them,” said junior Nate McCoy. “I thought it was a disappointing year, really. We played well a few times, but I know that we’re a lot better team.”

Coming into the season, not even the players knew what to expect. After the previous year (during which the Cyclones were led by Ben Herrera), the team didn’t have a clear-cut leader. To go along with that, the team also had two more new faces that it would be getting used to — the coaches.

Brand-new head and assistant coaches would be running the golf team for the 2010-11 season. Andrew Tank was accompanied to the job by new assistant coach, Patrick Datz. Tank spent his last eight seasons as the associate head coach at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and was the captain of the 2002 team for the Gophers. Assistant coach Patrick Datz is also from the University of Minnesota. Datz was a member of the 2006 team that placed third at the NCAA Championships, and also a part of the 2007 team that won the 2007 Big Ten title.

To deal with the lack of a leader, the coaches decided not to choose a captain, instead giving each golfer equal responsibility for team leadership. Even with no captain, McCoy and sophomore Borja Virto took charge of the team.

In the fall, McCoy was the medalist at the VCU shootout, and at the next meet McCoy and Virto both tied for fifth, leading the Cyclones to a second-place finish at the Weibring Invite.

In the spring, at the Desert Shootout, the Cyclones set the school record for 54 holes and finished second, led by Tom Lathrop’s sixth-place finish. McCoy and Virto weren’t the only Cyclones pulling their weight. Throughout the year, five Cyclones led the team in a tournament, and five golfers had at least one top-10 finish.

“This year certainly had its peaks and valleys,” Datz said. “With Nate medaling, breaking the school record, and having several guys finish in the top-10, it’s been a positive year.”

As for the 2011-12 season, the Cyclones added a trio of standout recruits from their respected areas. One of those three recruits is the Waukee native Collin Foster. To wrap up Foster’s impressive career, he won the 4A state individual title by five shots.

Another recruit is Scott Fernandez from Spain. Fernandez has been a member of the Spanish National Team since 2007, and is ranked as the No. 2 U-18 player in Spain. The last recruit is the New Zealand native Duncan Croudis. He has compiled an undefeated record the last three years, and was the medalist in the U-19 New Zealand Championship.

Along with those three solid recruits, the team returns the four starters in McCoy, Virto, Lathrop and Wuertz. They may have had a tough season, but they feel like they’re going to make some noise next year.

“We should be good enough to make it to Regionals without struggling too much,” McCoy said. “It’ll be interesting to see how the new guys do coming in and adjusting, but I think we’re going to be fine.”