LSU men’s golf fall preview

LSU senior men's golfer Garrett Barber averaged a team-best 71.45 strokes last year, seventh best in school history.

With almost the entire team returning last season plus a talented incoming freshman, LSU men’s golf coach Chuck Winstead is feeling feisty about his 2020-21 team.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, I really like my team,” said Winstead, whose team opens its fall schedule Sunday in the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate at Kaluhyat Golf Course in Verona, N.Y. “I think we’re in a good spot.”

Seniors Garrett Barber and Trey Winstead (Chuck’s son), who led the Tigers in scoring last season averaging 71.45 and 71.80 respectively, have played a combined 176 rounds of college golf. Michael Sanders, who has 63 career rounds, and Chris Woolam are other seniors who’ll be counted on.

“There’s no doubt that reps make a difference,” Chuck Winstead said, “if for no other reason if you get to see some of the same golf courses over and over, you become familiar with how to play them.”

Winstead is looking for sophomores Drew Doyle and Nicholas Arcement to continue their strong paths of improvement. They finished third and fourth on the team in scoring last season averaging 72.46 and 72.74 respectively.

“They had really good freshmen seasons last year,” Winstead said, “and I expect them to play with more confidence and understanding what’s involved. I was proud of how they developed.”

Junior Connor Gaunt, who played a team-high 30 rounds last season and averaged 73.60, has shown plenty of flashes of brilliance.

Last season as a transfer from Arkansas Tech, he had five of LSU’s lowest rounds of the year, all of them coming in the first or second rounds. He was the Tigers’ highest finisher at the SEC championships with a 1-over 211 to tie for seventh.

“I have a lot of confidence in Conner,” Winstead said. “His good is exceptional. Just his finish at the SEC championship alone was a highlight.

Finally, freshman Cohen Trolio, who won the Mississippi Amateur championship in late June, figures to impact.

HEAD COACH: Chuck Winstead (16 years overall and at LSU, won 39 tournaments including a national championship)

LAST SEASON: Didn’t win a tournament, best finish second place in SEC tournament stroke play, finished ranked No. 30th nationally

Won one tournament in the fall, none in the spring before season cut short in March by coronavirus

TOP RETURNEES: Senior Garrett Barber (averaged team-best 71.45 strokes last year, seventh best in school history), senior Trey Winstead (72.31 average in 100 career rounds, junior Conner Gaunt (five rounds 68 or lower last season, was LSU’s highest finisher at the SEC championships), sophomore Drew Doyle (averaged 72.46, made 66 birdies on the season with a high of five in a round twice).

SEPTEMBER

5-6 Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate at Kaluhyat Golf Course, Verona, NY

12-14 Jim Rivers Intercollegiate at Squire Creek GC, Ruston, La.

20-21 Scenic City Collegiate at the Honors Course, Chattanooga, Tn.

OCTOBER

10-12 SEC Match Play Championships at Shoal Creek, Birmingham, Ala.

17-19 Isleworth Collegiate Invitational at Isleworth Golf and Country Club, Windermere, Fla.

FEBRUARY

21-23 The Prestige at Greg Norman Course at PGA West, LaQuinta, Calif.

MARCH

7-8 San Diego Classic at San Diego Country Club, Chula Vista, Calif.

14-15 Louisiana Classics at Oakbourne Country Club, Lafayette

27-28 The Hayt at Sawgrass Country Club, Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.

APRIL

11-12 Mossy Oak Collegiate at Mossy Oak Golf Course, West Point, Miss.

19-22 SEC Championships at Sea Island Golf Club, St. Simons Island, Ga.

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