KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s golf team will begin its 2019 spring season at the Louisiana Classics swinging the clubs at the Oakbourne Golf Club in Lafayette, La., from Feb. 25 – 26. The program, in its 32nd season of intercollegiate varsity action, is scheduled to compete in six regular-season events this spring, wrapping up in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships April 27 – 29 in Lakewood, Wash.
The Roos are coming off a fall season in which the program took three top-five finishes in four events. The best placing was third at the Pepsi-Cola Classic on Oct. 20 – 21, 2018 and a tied for third finish at the Jackrabbit Invitational from Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. Junior McCain Schellhardt led UMKC in three of four events on the individual side.
Head coach J.W. VanDenBorn, who is in his 16th season at UMKC, led the Roos to its fourth all-time conference title last spring. UMKC now has won two out of the last three WAC championships, after carding a three-round score of 865 (284-287-294) last April. Individual conference medalist Schellhardt (211) returns with three other golfers in 2019, which means depth and optimism for coach VanDenBorn.
“Our team certainly improved over the winter with the additions of Maxence Catherine and Vitek Novak and getting Sam Humphreys back healthy,” said VanDenBorn. “They all have the ability to step right into the lineup this spring. More importantly, their presence gives us much stronger depth and will provide intense competition over the remainder of the season. This could be the deepest team we have had in my time here at UMKC.
“Schellhardt is coming off a really strong fall and Paul Foulquie has really stepped up after a rough start in our first event of the season. It will be a much different team than even we had in the fall with so many guys back in action. I’m really excited to see where it takes us.”
Another reason for high expectations is the fact current players have been on the big stage and will be looking to use that experience for 2019. The Roos appeared in their fourth all-time NCAA Regional Championship in 2018 and finished 11th out of 14 teams. Three of those participants finished in the top 40 of that regional event – Foulquie (T21), Francois Lagraulet (T26), Schellhardt (T29) – and a fourth, Humphreys, competed in the third round of regional play. All four golfers are back this year.
The Roos are ranked No. 112 out of 296 NCAA Division I men’s golf programs, reported in the latest GolfStat listing through Feb. 19. Schellhardt is on the individual list, reported by GolfStat, ranked No. 164 out of 250 Division I golfers. His adjusted scoring average is 71.60.
If selected for the NCAA regionals, the Roos will advance to the May 6 – 8 event.