Balanced group leads DePaul to joint best finish in Big East Tournament

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Balanced group leads DePaul to joint best finish in Big East Tournament

DePaul senior golfer Charlie Spencer-White looks on after hitting his shot during the North Alabama Spring Classic on March 25.

DePaul senior golfer Charlie Spencer-White looks on after hitting his shot during the North Alabama Spring Classic on March 25.

Courtesy of DePaul Athletics

DePaul senior golfer Charlie Spencer-White looks on after hitting his shot during the North Alabama Spring Classic on March 25.

Courtesy of DePaul Athletics

Courtesy of DePaul Athletics

DePaul senior golfer Charlie Spencer-White looks on after hitting his shot during the North Alabama Spring Classic on March 25.

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The men’s golf team at DePaul enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in its history.

The team culminated its  season finishing second in the Big East Tournament, which tied their best finish in history.

Senior Charlie Spencer-White finished tied for second individually, which bested Freddy Thomas for best-ever individual finish for a Blue Demon when he finished third in the 2015 tournament.

“The whole year was definitely exciting compared to previous because we had some pretty good freshmen coming in,” Spencer-White said. “The team was playing better and each and every tournament I was saying that we were going to get better.”

Spencer-White also spoke about the demeanor of the team being better this year.

“We had confidence down the stretch that we are going to play good going into the Big East, the younger guys were definitely playing better than before, Spencer-White said. “We were coming together as a team, we went in and only a few of us had played it before, we had a young team but we were really confident and prepared very well.”

As a leader and one of three seniors, Spencer-White knew that it was all about execution at the end of the day.

“We knew if we went out there and executed our plan and played to the best of our capabilities we would have a good chance,” Spencer-White continued. “It was quite a shock to me when I came to this University because there are a lot of different experiences that I was not expecting.”

He spoke on his struggles adjusting over the first couple years as well.

“I struggled in my first few years here, and I think a lot of freshmen feel the same way, they come in with high expectations and it’s quite a big change for them,” Spencer-White said. “I was able to relate some of the struggles over the years that I went through with some of the freshmen this year, and hopefully that can get integrated into the system a little quicker than I was.”

Spencer-White looked back on his whole career at DePaul University and said he would not change one thing.

“I would say, you live and you learn, through your experiences you learn to be a better person, be a better golfer and improve your game,” Spencer-White said. “I wouldn’t change anything necessarily, I think everything happens for a reason and experiences shape who you are, so I wouldn’t change anything but of course it would be nice to play a bit better now and again.”

Coach Marty Schiene joined the team as an assistant coach in 2016 and took over as the head coach in 2017 when Betty Kaufmann retired.

“We had a process of how we were going to estimate the conditions and do our routine,” Schiene said.

He was a member of the PGA Tour and competed in four US Open Championships. Schiene has been around Illinois for a number of years. His experience and expertise has helped lead the Blue Demons to their best ever finish in the Big East Tournament on April 28 in South Carolina.

“We stuck to it and it worked fairly well, for a while,” Schiene said.

Schiene has built the team into a true contender in just two years as the head coach, which is evident by the individual and team improvement.

“This was a young team, but they were focused and they had a plan, and they put together how we were going to win the Big East,” Schiene said. “They were confident, we had classroom sessions where we went over how we were going to play the course, I think our preparation was good and everyone bought in.”

Schiene spoke on the type of players he tries to recruit and the type of people he is looking for to come in and make a difference right away.

“For me, it starts with a quantitative analysis of their stroke average, their ranking, their power, their academics  and their winning,” Schiene said. “I have five parameters, and if they don’t have those then I move on.”

Next season, the team will have to overcome the loss of three seniors and try to improve on one of the most successful seasons in history.