Port St. Lucie, FL - The Rutgers men’s golf team, under the leadership of first-year head coach Rob Shutte, opens the spring season this weekend (March 16-17) at the Homewood Suites Invitational on the Dye Course at PGA Village. Hosted by Siena, the seven team event will also feature the Scarlet Knights, Long Island, Indianapolis, Rhode Island, Canisius and William Woods.
The competing five at Homewood will be sophomore Jonathan Renza (Cortland Manor, N.Y), junior John Fagan (Flemington, N.J.), sophomore Doug Walters (Blairstown, N.J.), and freshmen Jacob Stockl (Clark, N.J.) and Hyung Mo Kim (Norwood, N.J.). Sophomores Dillon Corbo (Montville, N.J.) and Jeff Lefevre (Linwood, N.J.) will play as individuals.
The event will mark the initial tournament at the helm for Shutte, who was named the program’s head coach on Feb. 14. He arrived “On the Banks” with seven years of collegiate head coaching experience, including the past two seasons as head women’s golf coach at Lehigh University.
“I want the players to take ownership of their games and to understand where I can help them improve,” said Shutte. “I think we have already started to see that this week. There’s going to be a learning curve of me getting to know them and them getting to know me. The relationships with the players are developing and we are learning how best to communicate with one another.”
Thanks to the semester spring break, RU arrived in the Sunshine State on Saturday and has been taking advantage of the sun soaked greens to prepare itself for not only this weekend, but the spring as a whole.
“There’s been a lot of golf all week and we’ve improved every day, so it’s been good,” said Shutte. “It’s always good to hit in a warmer environment off of grass. It’s been a productive week and a bonding experience for me to learn all of their games. They are learning how I operate. I’m used to winning. Certainly we have some talent, so now it’s a matter of putting it to action.”
The Homewood Suites Invitational is the first of five tournaments the Scarlet Knights are slated to compete in this spring.
“We have a new atmosphere,” said Shutte. “Everyone has a nice, clean slate…We are going to have fun, but we are going to get after it and compete. The mood is one where we feel we should get off to a pretty good start. We had guys play pretty well here in the last couple days. I have pretty high expectations that we have a shot at winning.”