March 6, 2000
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Tom Hanna guides his Maryland men's golf team into its first tournament of the 2000 spring this weekend, March 11-12, as the Terrapins travel to Charlotte, N.C., for the Birkdale Classic. Last season, Maryland finished sixth at the UNC Charlotte-hosted event, played annually at Birkdale Golf Course (Par 72, 7,013 yards). Maryland, which finished 17th in last spring's NCAA East Regional, returns a pair of experienced seniors in Gary Mankulish (Laurel, Md.) and Keith Unikel (Potomac, Md.) who should both contend for all-league honors in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Unikel was an All-ACC selection in 1999 while pacing the Terrapins with a 72.33 stroke average. Mankulish, who advanced to match play at last summer's U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, led Maryland with a 73.00 stroke average in five fall tournaments.
The roster is new, but the expectations are the same for the 2000 Maryland men's golf team.
Head coach Tom Hanna returns to guide the Terrapin golfers, directing his club for the ninth season and hoping for his third trip to the NCAA golf championships. With Hanna are a pair of seasoned and outstanding seniors in Gary Mankulishand Keith Unikel, but surrounding the national caliber duo are a half-dozen newcomers who Hanna hopes will help match the performance of last year's NCAA-qualifying team.
"Both of those guys are bonafide All-ACC," remarked Hanna. "They both can play with anyone in the country and they've already proven it. Plus, they both want to win. Golf can sometimes be a little bit of an individual sport, but both these guys are team leaders and they want us to win as a team. I couldn't ask for two better guys as seniors."
The Terps are young but not quite inexperienced with sophomore transfers Corey Brigham (Rumson, N.J.), Scott Ehrlich (Blue Bell, Pa.) and Phillip Fenstermaker (Rockville, Md.), and hotshot freshmen Dan MacDonald (Plandome, N.Y.) and John Moheyer (Lima, Ohio).
Brigham, a transfer from Baylor, followed the two seniors last fall, posting a 74.42 stroke average and leading Maryland with a ninth-place finish at Tampa's Old Memorial Golf Course. Brigham blitzed the course with a tournament-low round of 68 while finishing three-over par for the tournament.
Ehrlich and Fenstermaker should compete with MacDonald and Moheyer for time in the Terp lineup. MacDonald was steady in his first college semester of play, sporting a 76.00 average behind Brigham, shooting all eight rounds between 75 and 78. Moheyer, meanwhile, was defined by inconsistency in his first fall but showed the promise expected from him as an outstanding junior from Ohio. Moheyer captured medalist honors at the Chattanooga Intercollegiate, firing a 70-69-69--208 for five-under par and Maryland's only individual champion of the fall. Twice, though, he shot rounds of 86 and averaged 77.36 for the season.
Other challengers for playing time are a pair of local freshman anticipating their first college tournament play -- redshirt freshman Brit Musser (North Potomac, Md.) and local freshman Vertti Iso-Ahola (Upper Marlboro, Md.).
The Terps will again be a strong candidate for postseason competition, but success will hinge on the consistency of seven newcomers among a nine-man roster.
Maryland Men's Golf Fall 1999 Statistics
Name Trn. Rds. Top 10 -Par Par 60's Low Rd. High Rd. Strokes Avg. Gary Mankulish, Sr. 5 14 3 5 0 1 69 (1) 76 (2) 1,022 73.00 Keith Unikel, Sr. 5 14 2 1 3 0 70 (1) 76 (1) 1,023 73.07 Corey Brigham, So. 4 12 1 3 1 1 68 (1) 79 (1) 893 74.42 Dan MacDonald, Fr. 3 8 0 0 0 0 75 (4) 78 (1) 608 76.00 Phillip Fenstermaker, So. 3 9 0 1 0 0 71 (1) 82 (1) 696 77.33 John Moheyer, Fr. 4 11 1 3 0 2 69 (2) 86 (2) 851 77.36 Scott Ehrlich, So. 1 2 0 0 0 0 77 (1) 78 (1) 155 77.50 Team Totals 5 56 7 13 3 4 68 (1) 86 (1) 4,133 73.80