Ewing Leads Red Raiders Into Big 12 Championships|
Finley Ewing IV will lead the youngest group ever under 12th-year head coach Greg Sands to compete at the Big 12 Championships.
April 26, 2012
by Britton Drown
Speak with Finley Ewing IV for a brief moment and the state of the Texas Tech golf team is quickly articulated. This squad, which will be the youngest and any under the guidance of 12th-year head coach Greg Sands to compete at a Big 12 Championship tournament, is set out to do once again what they have done all season long.
"We feel like we have a lot to prove," Ewing said Tuesday afternoon outside the Rawls Golf Course on the Texas Tech campus.
And perhaps the Red Raiders do. The squad entered the season as the youngest in the Big 12 with a total of five true freshmen scattered throughout the roster. On Friday, Ewing will tee off alongside four in Trinity, Texas at the conference championships. The freshmen set to help Ewing chase a Big 12 title in Trinity include, Clement Sordet, Matias Dominguez, Esteban Restrepo and Henry Todd.
For Ewing, it will be his first trip as a Red Raider to the Big 12 tournament, and to do it alongside four freshmen is a unique opportunity, but one he is certainly excited for.
As an upperclassman on the freshmen-heavy roster, Ewing has seen first-hand the group mature throughout the 2012 season, and one tournament in particular stands out.
"The UTSA tournament," Ewing said without hesitation.
There in San Antonio, the Red Raiders fired a 2-under 282 in the final round to jump three spots and capture the championship in February. Sordet led the Red Raiders by shooting a 66 in the final round and a 3-under 210 to tie for first overall.
"We went out there and stepped up," Ewing said.
The Red Raiders followed the performance at UTSA with a second place finish at the Desert Invitational in Palm Desert, Calif., on Feb. 26 where Sordet turned in yet another impressive performance finishing tied for fifth overall after shooting a 69 in both the second and third rounds.
"Those two tournaments in a row, I think, were very important for the younger guys." Ewing said.
Head coach Greg Sands, in his 12th year at Texas Tech, agrees. This team has grown in flashes, and it's a process he watched closely as the season has progressed.
"It's fun," Sands said. "They've really developed and they love it here."
Now, Ewing and the Red Raiders enter the Big 12 Tournament ranked No. 47 in the nation by Golfweek, and are looking to prove yet again, that even with a young roster, they can make some noise together.
It's something they've done already this season, and now Ewing and the Red Raiders have the chance, on a much larger stage, to prove that their young squad can continue the rich golf tradition at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have reached 10 consecutive NCAA Regionals.
On Friday, Sordet will make his return to the Whispering Pines Golf Club, a course where he competed once already earlier in the season, and that experience, Sands says, should benefit the freshman.
"He has seen the golf course," Sands said. "So I feel he can do well."
Sordet leads the Red Raiders with a 72.7 average through 30 rounds this season. Ewing meanwhile is second on the team with a 73.6 average through 33 rounds.
Sands also has confidence in the abilities of Dominguez (76.8 average) and Todd (77.5 average).
"They've been playing well lately," "It didn't show in the Aggie Invitational necessarily, but they've been playing well and I feel like this course fits them well."
The Red Raiders tee off Friday at 8:45 a.m. at the Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas.