Men’s golf team working hard towards goal of winning Peach Belt

By Adam Hunt |

Santiago Cavanagh has his eyes on the prize.

And the Flagler men’s golf coach knows what it takes to win the Peach Belt Conference Championship title – his team did it last year.

“We have enough quality players to challenge for the championship again,” he said. “We are working hard towards our goal and hopefully we can go even further to the nationals.”

Cavanagh is in his fourth season at the helm of the Saints. He also coaches the successful women’s team.

Coaching a collegiate athletics team is never an easy task, let alone two. But Cavanagh knows how to get the best out of his players.

“We work on giving everyone a specific plan to maximize their potential,” he said. “We are fortunate to know most of the courses we play so there aren’t too many surprises.”

But one part of last year’s winning formula is missing. Chris Bray was a first-team all-conference pick in 2011 and lit up the Peach Belt with his consistency and mental strength.

Senior Joel Dahlenburg, who posted two top-10 finishes in the Fall, thinks the Saints will cope without Bray.

“We have a very solid team,” he said. “Losing Chris was a huge loss but we have many players who can step up and play. We will have a very dominant semester.”

The college golf calendar can also be grueling, especially for younger players. Unlike other sports that enjoy extended off-seasons to practice and recover, golfers tee it up competitively all year round.

Cavanagh knows it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

“With so many tournaments over such a long time it can be easy to peak too early,” he said. “We just have to make sure we don’t get complacent and keep working hard and pushing each other to improve.”

The Saints will head to Panama City, Fla. on Feb. 6 to compete at the Outback Steakhouse Intercollegiate. The course has suited Flagler golfers in recent years with them clinching the title in 2010 and 2011.

Cavanagh has also added two freshmen, Eddie Huang and Jonathan Folkner, to bolster the roster to nine players.

The affable Argentinian will be hoping he has found the perfect mix of new talent and experienced stars to improve his team’s already impressive record.

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