Wake Forest’s golf teams, which were ranked in the top 10 last spring, are planning on getting back onto the course this winter and spring to chase national championships.
The Wake Forest men, coached by Jerry Haas, rose to fifth last fall by Golfstat.com, after the spring season ended in March, and return a veteran group to open the season this weekend.
"We have one of the best teams in the country right now and I look forward to showcasing our talents this spring,” Haas said. “We've got great spacing between events, many players will get to play, and having such a deep team will be very helpful in performing at tournaments. It also pushes the guys to be competitive.”
Among Haas' veterans will be graduate student Eric Bae, junior Alex Fitzpatrick, senior Parker Gillam and sophomore Mark Power. Senior Marco Steyn and sophomore Fulton Smith also will be key players for Haas in his 24th season at his alma mater.
The Demon Deacons will open at the Seminole Invitational Jan. 17-19 at Camp Creek Golf Club in Watersound, Fla. They'll also host the Wake Forest Invitational at Pinehurst No. 2, scheduled for March 1-2.
The ACC Championship will be at Crabapple Country Club in Atlanta April 23-25, with the NCAA championship May 28-June 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz., at Grayhawk Golf Club.
While Haas’ men’s team hopes to contend for the school’s fourth national championship, the women’s team is one of the favorites and is going for its first national championship.
Coach Kim Lewellen’s team was ranked No. 1 last spring and will return all five starters, led by graduate student Siyun Liu, senior Emilia Migliaccio and sophomore Rachel Kuehn.
Liu and Migliaccio, the reigning ACC individual champion who has won five times at Wake Forest, were part of the team that finished runner-up to Duke in spring 2019 in the NCAA championship match.
Juniors Letizia Bagnoli and Vanessa Knecht and sophomore Lauren Walsh give Lewellen a deep team.
"We are thrilled to start competing at the end of the month," said Lewellen, the ACC coach of the year in 2019. “These ladies practiced hard in the fall and we are fortunate to have a competitive schedule this spring to prepare us for postseason play."
The women will open play Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in the Central Florida Challenge at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando.
The ACC championships will be at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro on April 15-18, with the NCAA championships scheduled for May 21-26 in Scottsdale, Ariz.