LAKELAND, Fla. - There is plenty of optimism surrounding the 2019-20 Florida Southern College men's golf team, as the Mocs are ranked No. 4 in the Bushnell Golfweek Division II Preseason Coaches Poll. The team has now been ranked in the top five of the GCAA Preseason Coaches Poll in five-straight seasons, and are coming off a national semifinal appearance a year ago.
This year's edition will open the fall season this weekend, with the Doc Gimmler Invitational, held at historic Bethpage Golf Course on Long Island, N.Y. The event is hosted by St. John's University, and will feature mostly Division I schools.
"Beginning our season against thirteen Division I teams is something we look forward to," said second year Head Coach Lee White. "I'm excited to watch this team compete and see how they respond to the adversities we will face playing, at Bethpage. Our goal is to win the event, as it is every time we play."
The 54-hole tournament to be played on Sept. 14 and 15 at the Bethpage Red Course, a par-70.
Leading the charge for the Moccasins will be senior Chase Ibbotson, who is the team's sole captain. A year ago, Ibbotson played in every event, and recorded seven rounds at par or better. He recorded one Top-5, finishing tied for third place against Columbia University, and one other top-ten, a sixth place finish at the Cougar Invitational.
Sophomore Max Coutsolioutsos returns, expecting to build upon his successes from a year ago. The reigning Sunshine State Conference Freshman of The Year, he played in every event a year ago, shooting 40 total rounds, making par or better ten times. His season-best 66 came in February, at the opening round of the Matlock Collegiate Classic, where he placed second. His sole gold medalist honor came against Columbia, where he shot +1 in the two-day event.
Classmate Johnny Tucker will see more action this season, after participating in just 10 events a year ago. He showed flashes of brilliances, shooting par or better nine times. In the NCAA Semifinals vs. Lincoln Memorial, he shot an even 72.
Adam Alvarez will be called upon to compete this year, after redshirting a year ago. A local product out of Winter Haven, the natural lefthander had top-10 finishes in the stroke play portion of the FSGA Junior Amateur Match Play Tournament in 2016 and 2017, and was top-20 every year from 2016-18.
Newcomer Chris Fosdick is expected to make an immediate impact for the Mocs this year as a true freshman. In the spring of 2018, Fosdick carded a 67 in the final round of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference state championship to win the CIAC Open.
Looking to compete for time in the lineup this fall will be redshirt freshman Arden Brake, redshirt sophomore Logan Neel, and true sophomore Seth Wright. Wright completed eight rounds a year ago, with a season-high fifth place finish against Columbia, at +5. Neel, meanwhile, completed two rounds, both against Columbia, placing 16th.
With four challenging events in the fall, Coach White is looking to firm up his lineup, and make another run deep into the NCAA Championships in the spring.