Four days from now, the Nebraska men’s golf team will be in Durham, North Carolina, at the Rod Myers Invitational trying to start the 2019 season off right.
Mark Hankins is going into his second year as Nebraska head coach and is looking to improve on last year’s performance. During the Big Ten Championship, the Huskers finished in fifth place — the program’s best finish in the tournament. The program’s previous best was ninth place in 2013.
Coming into the season, three golfers, senior Tanner Owen, junior Daniel Pearson and sophomore Tristan Nelko, were recognized on the 2019-20 Big Ten Men's Golfers to Watch List.
Owen is coming off a fantastic junior season in which he finished with the best Big Ten Tournament finish by a Husker in school history by tying for 16th. Along with that, Owen earned Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors in April and ended the year with a team-best 72.86 scoring average. Coming off a great season, Owen is in a good place to add to his already impressive golf resume.
Pearson’s 74.88 stroke average last year ranked him fourth on the team in that category, which is impressive for a then-sophomore. Pearson earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, was on the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team and was awarded the Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership Award. Pearson is ready to take another step forward in his golf game this year.
Nelko is heading into his sophomore year and made his mark as a freshman with both his performance in the starting lineup and at practice. His most impressive round last year was in the Cardinal Regional Challenge in which he had a career-low 72 in the first round. With an early start to his impressive rounds as a part of the starting lineup, he will look to add more of those rounds this year.
Along with players who earned preseason honors, the Huskers were able to add two golfers to the team. Sophomore Caleb Badura transferred in mid-July from Northwestern College to join the Huskers for this year’s season, and junior Mark Foelbaek also joined the team after ending the fall season as the No. 1 ranked golfer in NJCAA Division I according to GolfStat. Foelbaek, who is from Denmark, played his sophomore season at Ranger College before signing with the Huskers.
The Huskers play in some big tournaments such as Big Ten Match Play in Palm Coach, Florida. The tournament is played on Hammock Beach Resort and runs from Feb. 7-8. Nebraska will also end the season with the Big Ten Championships, played in Sugar Grove, Illinois on Rich Harvest Farms from May 1-3.
The Huskers will look to improve from their 2018 season with an improving young roster and second-year coach Mark Hankins heading into the 2019-2020 season.