Wildcats Looking to Build on Last Season's Momentum
Sept. 12, 2005
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Heading into the 2005-06 season, the Villanova golf team appears to be on the verge of turning a corner and becoming a consistent force in the Big East. The squad returns the core of last year's team, which reached the Big East Tournament for the first time since it was reduced to six teams in 2000. As head coaches Jake and Joe Moran embark on their 13th seasons leading the Wildcats, they are as optimistic as ever about the team's prospects for the coming season.
The key player to watch this season is senior Jonathan Hewett. Hewett compiled a 76.14 stroke average in 21 rounds last season, and captured medalist honors at the George Washington Invitational. His performance at George Washington helped the Wildcats win the team title among the 26 teams in the field, marking Villanova's first team title at a tournament since October 1997. Hewett competed in 11 tournaments and recorded five top-10 finishes.
Junior Brock Bergman will also be vital to the Wildcats this season. He emerged as the squad's most consistent player a year ago, and after a strong summer season seems ready to take his game to the next level. As a sophomore, Bergman was the only team member to play in all 12 tournaments and 23 team rounds. He carded all but one of his rounds in a range between 73 and 79, and posted three top-20 finishes.
There will once again be a great deal of competition for spots in the regular starting lineup, but the coaching staff expects to have the depth necessary to consistently put a competitive group of five out on the course. Seniors Colin Mahon and Henry Watson, in addition to junior Brian Feeney, are all returnees who could have an inside track on starting spots in the fall.
Mahon returned to the team last spring after spending one semester studying abroad, and had his game in top form towards the end of the season. He competed in nine tournaments and turned in a 79.11 stroke average. Watson played 11 rounds in six tournaments and turned in a 79.27 average, including two top-20 finishes. Meanwhile, Feeney provided a stabilizing presence to the Wildcat lineup as a sophomore, ranking fourth on the team with 16 rounds played. He registered 10 rounds with a score in the 70's, including five of his last six rounds of the season.
A talented group of newcomers will also join the roster this season, and each of the new players will immediately challenge for a spot in the lineup. Freshman Brett Bergman is a highly touted recruit who joints his brother Brock on the squad. The remainder of the incoming class includes freshmen Doug Stadler, Bill Gropp, and Paul Sjoberg, as well as junior Steve Arnold.
The Wildcats will participate in a total of 12 tournaments this season, six each during both the fall and spring seasons. The season begins with the Rutgers Invitational in New Brunswick, N.J., a 54-hole event being held from September 15-17. Villanova will also play in the Big 5 Classic on October 13-14 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. A pair of new additions highlights the fall schedule, as the Wildcats will play in the St. John's/Tillinghast on October 17-18 before wrapping up the fall at the Marquette Tournament in Florida on November 5-6.v
The spring season gets underway with a tournament hosted by St. John's in Florida in early March. Villanova will also play in tournaments hosted by William & Mary, George Washington, Navy and Princeton. The season wraps up with the Scotty Duncan Memorial on April 29-30.