Liberty Golf Wins Its First ASUN Title
Liberty men’s golf has consistently delivered quality performances over the last several years. The team continues that trend with the program’s first -ever ASUN conference title and a trip to the NCAA Regional tournament.
The tournament will be held May 17-19, with the location not yet announced. The Flames last appeared in the regional tournament in 2019. Despite this being his ninth regional tournament appearance, Head Coach Jeff Thomas refused to allow the team to become complacent.
“We are excited to go to regionals,” Thomas said. “The goal is to make it to the national championship, so that is what we’re focused on right now.”
Thomas is focused on improving putting and being more consistent. He knows if the team cannot maintain its quality of play throughout regionals, they will not have a great shot to make an appearance in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the national championship. Thomas also knows that lighting a fire inside of each player will pay dividends as they compete against some of the top talent in the country.
“They’re able to grind through the process pretty well and make sure they have a good fighting spirit,” Thomas said. “They are able to get the most out of their rounds, and we’re going to need to be able to do that when we go to regionals.”
Juniors Zach Barbin and Alexandre Fuchs are excited for the opportunity to compete in the tournament. Barbin finished the shortened 2019-2020 season with a career best average stroke of 72.87. For Barbin, this will be his first time participating in the regional tournament, and he is hungry to help Liberty win the tournament for the sixth time in program history.
“I’m just really excited to have the opportunity to play at regionals,” Barbin said. “I traveled with the team last time we played at regionals, but this will be my first time actually playing at regionals. I am really excited to play against the best schools in the country and kind of see what I can do to help the team and reach our goal of the national championship.”
Fuchs was part of the 2019 team that reached the NCAA National Championship. During the 2021 spring season, Fuchs has been a key contributor to the Flames’ success, currently holding a season average stroke of 71.24. He is approaching this tournament with the same mindset he has had at any other competition.
“I think it’s not going to be any different than the tournaments before,” Fuchs said. “I don’t think we have to put more pressure on ourselves because it’s regionals. I just think we have to get out there, have fun, enjoy the time and just try to play the best we can, as we’ve been doing since the beginning of the year. The key for us it to just stay consistent.”
Thomas has not yet decided which golfers will participate in regionals.
Kevin Gora is the Assistant News Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @kevgora.