Men’s golf addresses media before C-USA Championship


Michael Reese/UTEP Athletics

Jeremy Carranco, Reporter

With conference tournament action approaching this weekend, UTEP men’s golf team held a media day on Wednesday, April 19 at the El Paso Country Club. The Conference-USA men’s golf championship will begin Sunday, April 23 and will conclude on Wednesday, April 26.
The Miners are coming off a seventh-place finish out of 15 teams in the 71st Annual Western Intercollegiate Tournament in Santa Cruz, California. UTEP shot 34-over 1,084 (361-356-367) in a tournament that saw five top-25 teams. The Miners placed higher than two of those five ranked teams (No. 17 Texas and No. 25 Arizona State).
“That was the strongest we played all year,” said head coach Scott Lieberwirth. “Even though we only placed seventh out of 15 schools we still knocked off Texas, UCLA, Arizona State, and San Diego State, all top-50 schools.”
Lieberwirth also discussed the differences of the golf course in Texarkana as opposed to Pasatiempo (Santa Cruz) in which he believes will challenge his team.
“Pasatiempo is probably the most difficult course we played all year” Lieberwirth said. “The biggest thing with Texarkana is that we go from out in the west coast, from a cool season grass to a Bermuda grass, for us we’re used to Bermuda because that’s what mostly everyone has but that is going to be the biggest adjustment from one to the other.”
The Miners will be led by senior Frederick Dreier. Drier has played all four years at UTEP and is the reigning Conference USA Golfer of the Year. This spring season, Dreier owns a 71.09 stroke average (32 rounds/2,275 strokes), and has six top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments played, all of which he won or tied as UTEP’s top finisher. In his last chance as a Miner, Drier is hoping to lead his team to its first ever Conference-USA golf title.
“I don’t think I have realized how close I am to the end, it feels like yesterday I came in as a freshman,” Drier said. “To be at the end of it now is kind of been surreal but I have enjoyed the entire process and these four years, I am never going to forget this and I am going to be truly appreciative of what I have been through over here.”
Last season, the Miners placed in sixth alone at 23-over 887 (302-292-293) in the Conference-USA Championship. The Miners are hoping with their current momentum, that they can rebound from a disappointing 2016 showing.
“Every player has matured this season both on and off the golf course,” Drier said. “They know the golf course we are playing now and everyone has become cleaver as a golfer, although we are the same team as last year we are better because we are more developed this year.”