Odett Ochoa / Hilltop Views
The “G.O.A.T. of the Month” is a segment in which the Hilltop Views sports section recognizes the consistent, impactful performance of a stand-out SEU athlete during the span of a month.
The St. Edward’s University men’s golf team opened the spring season with an impressive No. 18 national ranking. Official season play began on Feb. 3 in Laredo, Texas, at the Jack Brown Memorial Invitational, where the team tied for second place with a score of 863 (280-297-286).
The Hilltoppers ended February by traveling to face a familiar rival, St. Mary’s University. The team tied for third with a score of 897 strokes (missing three round score). Headlining this year’s team and 2020 class is Austin native Ryan McGinley, finishing in 15th place overall in Laredo and 21st in San Antonio.
As a four-year veteran in head coach Chris Hill’s program, McGinley made his way home with Hill, following his sophomore season at Concordia University.
“We’ve always had a really good relationship. I transferred with him here to St. Ed’s, we’ve always been really close. We’ve always been friends … I can always talk to him about different things and we’ve always had a close relationship,” McGinley says.
McGinley will conclude his final year of eligibility later this spring and will return in the fall to conclude his academics. Instead of being remorseful, he has adopted an “all or nothing” mentality by incorporating rigorous off-season training. During the off-season, a two-month gap with no tournament play, McGinley, improved his short game and lessened the number of penalty shots taken throughout the season.
“You had to work really hard during the off-season so you could come more prepared into this competitive season than other players. It’s my final semester ever of playing collegiate golf. I want to basically give it my all and not have any regrets later,” McGinley says.
Describing his collegiate career as “fun and hard work,” McGinley’s hot start in tournament play is the result of this attitude. McGinley’s love for the sport is heavily influenced by teammates he now describes as “one big friend group,” mentioning team-building drills and games as a significant part of their comradery.
“We’ve brought on a lot of competitiveness this year. So even though it’s an individual sport, even when we are playing in practice rounds or just practicing, in general, we will do drills and games that bring some sort of competitiveness or we’ll play two vs. two to kind of bring in the team aspect.”
The Hilltoppers will return to play on March 6 at the Broncho Invitational in Edmond, OK.