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Feb. 4, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's golf team will begin their 2013 spring campaign on Feb. 8 when they travel to Bradenton, Fla. for the Big Ten Match Play Championship. This will be the Nittany Lions' first of six regular season spring competitions, including their only home match of the year, the Rutherford Intercollegiate held on April 20-21.
The team will be coming off two top-5 finishes from the fall, with a second place finish at the Cobra-PUMA Invitational and a third place finish at the Georgetown Intercollegiate.
While Penn State has suffered some unfortunate injuries during the off season, Coach Greg Nye remains optimistic for the upcoming spring and believes his team will enter this weekend "pretty healthy overall" despite the winter setbacks.
"We feel we have a team on the rise, and can stand tough against the top Big Ten teams," said Nye.
Overall, the spring season will prove to be a period of improvement for the Nittany Lions.
"This spring, the goal is to improve upon fall performance, and peak at the end of year, and see where we end up," explained Nye.
Sophomore Jens Talbert (Little Rock, Ark.) will be looking to build off of a strong fall season, where he finished in the top-20 in four out of the five tournaments Penn State competed in.
"The fall season was great. There were a couple aspects of my game holding me back from breaking through. I've worked hard on those aspects of my game through the off season and I hope it helps make me a more complete player this spring," said Talbert.
When the Nittany Lions travel to the Big Ten Match Play Championship this weekend, Talbert will have his goals set high for the spring.
"An individual goal of mine would be to win a collegiate golf event. I put myself in position in the fall a couple times but came up short. A couple of things needed to improve and I felt like I accomplished that over the off season."
Not only has Talbert set high goals for himself as a player, but he will have high expectations for the team, as well.
"We need to keep fighting and make it to regionals. We have a lot of talent, if we keep doing the things we are doing, it's just a matter of time until we break through."
Senior Jay Woodward (Bridgeport, W. Va.) will be entering his final season as a Nittany Lion golfer. He will go into this weekend striving to end his Penn State career on a positive note after taking the winter months to improve minor flaws in his play from the fall.
"I worked a lot on my short game and fitness to prepare for the spring season. I want us as a team to make regionals," said Woodward.
Talbert and Woodward will be just two members of the Nittany Lion golf squad that will help lead the team this spring. Senior Anthony DeGol (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) is also coming off of a solid fall showing and the spring will mark his last collegiate season with Penn State.
In addition, freshman Geoff Vartelas (Cromwell, Conn.) will continue making an early impact on the men's golf program as he competed in all five fall tournaments.
Follow the team on twitter @PennStateMGolf and "like" the Penn State Men's Golf Facebook page to stay up-to-date on the Nittany Lions' upcoming spring 2013 season. You can also check back here for the latest releases and information on the program.