The curtain is rising on a new day for the North Texas men’s golf team as the Mean Green has its eye on recapturing the past glory of four NCAA national championships. North Texas goes into the season with a new head coach in Brad Stracke who has committed himself to returning the Mean Green to its place among the elite programs in the nation.
Stracke arrives at North Texas with a championship background and pedigree and will have some of the best talent in the Sun Belt Conference to work with this spring. That talent produced one of the lowest rounds in recorded history at North Texas and two top five team finishes in the fall.
Three senior’s give the Mean Green a wealth of experience this season led by three-year letterwinner Harris Graham. He had the third lowest stroke average on the team in the fall this season and a fifth place finish at the Cobb/Ferrell Mean Green Classic.
Newcomer Clarke Kincaid has been an instant shot in the arm to the North Texas lineup as he fired the second lowest stroke average in the fall for the Mean Green. Kincaid had three top 25 finishes in the fall and was one of the most consistent and durable players for North Texas. He had his best round of the year in California at the Del Walker Intercollegiate with a five-under 67.
Nathan Sheen turned in perhaps the best fall season of all the Mean Green golfers with a team-low stroke average. Sheen, who had previously played in only two tournaments, was a model of consistency for North Texas posting four top-25 finishes in the fall. He had a fourth place finish at the Kansas Invitational and three-rounds of under-par golf.
Junior Dustin Thompson is looking to return to his all-conference form of his freshman season. He struggled last season but with Stracke at the helm, Thompson is poised to return to the potent player he has shown he can be.
Lance Byars is another weapon at the disposal of Coach Stracke. The hardworking walk-on competed in three tournaments this fall and shot a season-low round of 71 at the Del Walker Intercollegiate.
The story of the fall for the Mean Green was the 18-holes played by sophomore Michael Lee at the Bill Cullum Invitational. Lee shot an 11-under par 62 in the second round at the tournament to break the Course and Tournament records for lowest round. Lee’s round of 62 was the fourth lowest in the nation turned during the fall and the lowest documented score in school history. Lee had his best finish of the season at the tournament by taking 8th place.
Fellow sophomore Luis Lemus sat out the fall season as he retooled his swing in preparation for the spring season. Last year he saw action in three tournaments and had his best tournament at the Mean Green Classic.
The two freshmen for North Texas this season, Ben Hargis and Ash Crawford, will be loading up the lineup with talent and depth. Hargis had solid fall season in his debut in Division I golf. He played in three tournaments and had his best round at the Del Walker Intercollegiate with a 2-under par 70.
Coming out of high school Hargis had already proven himself as a force on the course. A four-year letterman, Hargis was a state qualifier in 2005 at Amarillo High School. In 2006 Hargis was a district medalist and his senior season in 2007 Hargis was a regional qualifier. He was the Panhandle Golfer of the Year in 2006.
A four year letterman, Crawford was the captain of his golf team and posted a career-low round of 64 his senior season. He was the MVP of the golf team his junior and senior season in high school in Australia. Crawford saw action in two tournaments this season for the Mean Green during the fall and looks to continue his development under Coach Stracke.