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ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's golf team begins a new era on Monday (Sept. 10) at the 2018 Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational as the tournament marks the debut of the Bobcats under first-year head coach Carter Cheves.
2018 JOE FEAGANES MARSHALL INVITATIONAL AT A GLANCE
The 54-hole, two-day event is hosted by the Guyan Golf and Country Club in Huntington, W. Va. The teams will play two rounds on Monday before finishing the final 18 holes on Tuesday (Sept. 11). Live scoring will be available via BirdieFire. Ohio will be competing against host Marshall, Belmont, Davidson, Dayton, Eastern Kentucky, George Washington, Longwood, Northern Kentucky, Saint Francis, VCU, William & Mary, Wright State and Youngstown State.
The Bobcats haven taken part in the Marshall Invitational every year since 1968. Ohio won the first two Marshall Invitational titles, with Slugger White bringing home individual champion honors with a score of 217 in 1969.
Ohio finished in 11th place at a rain-shortened 2017 Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational (Sept. 11-12) after tallying a two-round total team score of 583 (+15). The Bobcats combined to card an opening-round score of 294 (+10) and followed it up with a 289 (+5) in the second. Final-round action was set to be played on Sept. 12, but heavy rain forced the cancelation of the remainder of the tournament.
CHEVES ERA BEGINS
Cheves was named the third head coach in the history of Ohio men's golf program, as announced by Director of Athletics Jim Schaus on July 9.
Cheves comes to Athens after spending five years as the assistant coach at James Madison, where he helped 13 Dukes earn All-Colonial Athletic Association honors. Following the 2017-18 season, freshman Ignacio Montero was named CAA Men's Golf Rookie of the Year while senior Matt Cowgill was tabbed an All-CAA Second Team selection. Off the course, James Madison boasted a GPA over 3.0 as a team. In total during his stint at James Madison, Cheves coached one CAA Player of the Year, two CAA Rookie of the Year winners, five Scholar All-Americans, two individual NCAA Championship Regional qualifiers, one NCAA Championship qualifier and one PING All-American selection.
James Madison posted eight team wins over the course of Cheves' tenure. The Dukes posted 52 rounds at par or better after recording 46 such rounds combined over previous 15 years prior to his arrival. Every major scoring record in the program's history was broken over the last five years, including low single round, low 36-hole total, low 54-hole total, par 3 scoring, par 4 scoring, par 5 scoring, most birdies in a season and season finish percentage.
Cheves brings previous head coaching experience to the Bobcats, as he served as the head coach at Western Carolina for three of his four-and-a-half years with the Catamounts. Under his watch, J.T. Poston became the third Western Carolina golfer to qualify as an individual for NCAA Championship Regional play. Poston, who is the first golfer Cheves signed, is currently on the PGA Tour, and several of Cheves' former players have competed on PGA Tour Latinoamérica, PGA Tour Canada, GPro Tour and SwingThought Tour. Off the course, Cheves started the program's first-ever alumni reunion, advanced the team's ranking over 70 spots in three years as head coach and had his teams maintain better than a 3.0 cumulative GPA in his tenure.
Cheves graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in operations management. Prior to attending UNCW, he played two years of college golf at North Carolina State under veteran Wolfpack head coach Richard Sykes. Following his graduation from UNCW, Cheves served as the United States Golf Association P.J. Boatwright summer intern for the Carolinas Golf Association.
The Ohio men's golf program has won 18 Mid-American Conference championships in its storied history (1951, '52, '53, '54 (tie), '55, '57, '58, '59, '60, '61, '63, '64, '65, '67, '69, '71, '79, '80). Cheves succeeds Bob Cooley, who retired at the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign after 30 seasons at the helm of his alma mater. Cheves, Cooley and Kermit Blosser (1947-88) are the only men to serve as head coach of the Bobcats in the program's history.
A LOOK AT THE ROSTER
The Bobcats return eight members of its 2017-18 team. Back for Ohio are senior Ben Sattler (Liberty Township, Ohio), redshirt junior Michael Kenney (Kent, Ohio), redshirt sophomores Adam Stephens (Dublin, Ohio) and Brett Wheeler (Dublin, Ohio) and sophomores Zach Crawford (Vandalia, Ohio), Austin Dyson (Dublin, Ohio), Tanner Johnson (Venetia, Pa.) and Zach Mandry (Solon, Ohio).
Crawford is Ohio's top returner after competing in nine events in his rookie campaign and averaging a 76.35 over 26 rounds. He enjoyed his best finish at The Firestone Invitational (Oct. 2-3), tying for fourth with a 215 (-1) and shooting a season-low 67 (-5) in the first round.
Sattler gives the young Bobcats a steady veteran presence and has earned Academic All-MAC honors each of the last two years.
Ohio's roster features one new member -- freshman Quinn O'Leary (Beverly Hills, Mich.). O'Leary Competed at Brother Rice High School, earning four varsity letters. He served as team captain of the Warriors in each of his final three seasons (2016, '17, '18) and earned all-state honorable mention following his 2016 sophomore campaign. An All-Catholic League selection all four years of high school, he helped guide Brother Rice to a Catholic League title to cap off his 2018 senior season. O'Leary is the cousin of former Ohio women's golfer Lily Pendy.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
The Bobcats are set to compete in a total of 11 tournaments this season -- five in the fall and six in the spring. The 2019 MAC Championships (April 26-28) will be held at Club Walden in Aurora, Ohio. Click here to view the full schedule.
BOBCAT OPEN SET FOR SEPT. 24
The Ohio men's and women's golf teams will host the 28th Annual Bobcat Open on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, at The Lakes Golf and Country Club in Westerville, Ohio.
The Bobcat Open serves as a fundraiser for the Ohio golf teams.
Action gets underway at noon EST with a shotgun start. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with an awards banquet to follow at 7 p.m. Participants will have the chance to meet Cheves as well as celebrate the career of Bob Cooley, who retired following the 2017-18 season after spending 30 years as the head coach at his alma mater.
Ohio has a short turnaround after the 2018 Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational, competing in the EKU Raising Canes Intercollegiate next weekend (Sept. 15-16) in Richmond, Ky.