By Steven Bartolotta, March 31, 2011, 11:57 a.m.
While it does seem like the North Texas men's golf team has been in a rut this spring, Golfstat.com (the sagarin ratings for golf) has some interesting numbers regarding the Mean Green.
Individually Carlos Ortiz is everywhere. He's 3rd in the nation in par 4 scoring at 3.98. That's not all, Ortiz ranks 18th in the nation in subpar strokes per round at 4.09, 15th in the nation in fairways hit at .811 and 8th in the country in greens in regulation at .746.
Team-wise the Mean Green is No. 3 in the nation in par-4 scoring, 4th in the nation in par-5 scoring, 2nd in the nation in subpar strokes per round, and 2nd in the nation in greens in regulation.
If you're like me, you're trying to figure out what all of these numbers mean. Well first off it means Carlos Ortiz is playing some great golf. Second it shows that North Texas has been putting up some crazy low rounds, but the problem has been that the Mean Green has also been put up some make-coach-Brad-Stracke-go-crazy like rounds too.
The guys are playing well in spurts but not all at the same time. They have been struggling to get all five players on the same page in the same round. At times two, even three golfers have put up low rounds, but to be great you have to have all five players on the same page.
Ortiz for example has been terrific in opening rounds. He's been the clubhouse leader in three of the last four tournaments after the first 18 holes. He's faltered a bit in the last two rounds, but still ended up posting top-20 finishes. Meanwhile the rest of the team has played okay in the opening round, but better in the final two rounds. But never have they all been on the same page to put up that really low score you need to win tournaments.
North Texas has just under a month to work out the kinks before the SBC Tourney in late April. They will play their final tournament on April 16-17 as a final tune-up against a field that includes No. 12 ranked Iowa.
The team is poised for its first NCAA Regional berth since 2003 but to go beyond the regionals as Coach Stracke envisions, his team needs to find their way outta this scoring rut. The scores and the stats are good, but North Texas needs find a way to be great again before late April.