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Eastern Florida Golfers Ready for Florida Tech Tournament

March 13, 2014 - Eastern Florida's golf team hits the links again on Monday and Tuesday in Florida Tech's Panther Invitational.

The 54-hole tournament will be played at The Majors in Palm Bay. Eastern Florida will be the only NJCAA team in the field of six with the others being NCAA Division II schools Florida Tech, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Guilford University, Saint Leo University and University of Tampa.

Then, on March 31 and April 1 the Titans will play in the Buccaneer Invitational at Miami's Barry University where it will compete with 14 four-year teams.

Titans head coach Jamie Howell sees no risk in playing four-year schools.

"No danger at all and if anything it will spark the guys to compete at a higher level," Howell said. "We're competing alongside colleges with upper classmen - juniors and seniors - who have more experience.

"There is a certain air about four-year college tournaments that is slightly different than junior college events. In so many words the more the guys can get comfortable in uncomfortable surroundings the better they will compete at all levels."

Eastern Florida will compete at Florida Tech without freshman Brad Gray who is ranked 34th nationally. Gray is taking the event off to prepare an important academic exam.

"Not having Brad in the line-up this coming Monday and Tuesday means the five who are playing will all need to be taking care of business from the first tee shot to the final putt," Howell said. "No one person will make up his absence and it will need to be a team effort all 54 holes."

As a team Eastern Florida is ranked sixth nationally in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf men's NJCAA Division I coaches' poll but still has room to improve, Howell said.

"When the guys are good they can be very good," Howell said. "When we're sloppy, we're a middle of the road result."

Eastern Florida has had four matches so far this fall, finishing fourth in its first two tournaments, winning its third and winning a one-day match-up with NCAA Division I St. Peter's University.