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UnknownPublished: 5/13/2024, Last updated: 5/13/2024
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All-SoCon men's golf team announced

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – ETSU redshirt senior Mats Ege has been named the Southern Conference Men’s Golf Player of the Year, while the Buccaneers’ Jenson Forrester and UNCG’s Kelvin Hernandez have been named the SoCon Co-Freshman of the Year in voting conducted by the league’s eight head coaches. ETSU’s Jake Amos was voted the league’s Coach of the Year.

The league also named a 10-member all-conference team and a five-member all-freshman team, which was voted on by the coaches, who could not vote for their own players or themselves. Due to a tie in the voting, two golfers were named the freshman of the year.

Ege, who is ranked No. 10 nationally, is first in the SoCon in stroke average at 69.0. The redshirt senior was the SoCon Player of the Week on Oct. 11 and March 6 this season. The Kristiansand, Norway, native posted nine top-10 finishes, including wins at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate in October, the Wake Forest Invitational in March and the SoCon Championship earlier this month. Ege never dropped lower than fifth during any of the tournaments that he won this season. During the SoCon Championship, the redshirt senior was tied for second after round one before gaining the lead in round two en route to his second straight individual title, finishing with a 13-under-par 203 overall score. Ege’s player of the year win marks the 16th time a Buccaneer has received the honor.

Forrester and Hernandez each have a 72.5 stroke average, which ties the two golfers for 21st in the SoCon. Forrester, a native of Wolverhampton, England, posted four top-25 finishes and shot even-par or better in three tournaments this season. Forrester’s best finish of the season came in October at Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate when he shot a 2-under-par 214. Forrester is the ninth ETSU golfer to win SoCon Freshman of the Year. Hernandez posted five top-20 finishes this season, including two top-10 finishes at the Sea Island Invitational in March and the Stitch Intercollegiate in April. The Caguas, Puerto Rico, native is the sixth UNCG golfer to win SoCon Freshman of the Year, the first since 2018.

Amos earned his third SoCon Coach of the Year honor and ETSU’s 17th overall. The fifth-year coach guided the Bucs to top-10 finishes in 11 of 12 tournaments this season, including three wins. ETSU’s first wins came in October at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate and Ka'anapali Classic before winning the SoCon Championship in April for the fourth straight season.

ETSU and Chattanooga each claimed a league-best three All-SoCon selections. Alongside Ege, the Buccaneers placed sophomore Matthew Dodd-Berry and junior Algot Kleen on the all-conference team. The Mocs saw seniors Paul Conroy, Samuel Espinosa and John Houk make the all-conference team, with each making the squad for the second consecutive season. UNCG had two selections in seniors Symon Balbin and Randall Hudson. Furman sophomore Harris Barth and Mercer senior Tobias Jonsson rounded out the all-conference team.

Forrester and Hernandez were joined on the all-freshman team by Samford’s Taylor Kuehn, Chattanooga’s Ward Harris and Western Carolina’s Jace Butcher.

The Buccaneers clinched an automatic berth to the NCAA regionals by virtue of their win at the SoCon Championship. The NCAA field will be announced live on Wednesday, May 1, at 2 p.m. (ET), on the Golf Channel.

2023-24 Southern Conference Player of the Year

Mats Ege, R-Sr., ETSU

2023-24 Southern Conference Co-Freshman of the Year

Jenson Forrester, ETSU

Kelvin Hernandez, UNCG

2023-24 Southern Conference Coach of the Year

Jake Amos, ETSU

2023-24 All-Southern Conference Team

Matthew Dodd-Berry, So., ETSU

Mats Ege, R-Sr., ETSU

Algot Kleen, Jr., ETSU

Harris Barth, So., Furman

Tobias Jonsson, Sr., Mercer

Symon Balbin, Sr., UNCG

Randall Hudson, Sr., UNCG

Paul Conroy, Sr., Chattanooga

Samuel Espinosa, Sr., Chattanooga

John Houk, Sr., Chattanooga

2023-24 All-Freshman Team

Jenson Forrester, ETSU

Kelvin Hernandez, UNCG

Taylor Kuehn, Samford

Ward Harris, Chattanooga

Jace Butcher, Western Carolina