Thursday, September 30, 2010
After Tough Start, Men’s Golf Recovers at VCU Shootout
J. Andrew Lockwood
September 30, 2010
It wasn’t pretty after the first day of the VCU Shootout in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia. The Mercer men carded a team-combined 307, sitting in last place by three strokes. But once again, head coach Andrew Tredway’s team showed why they resemble a modern day Rocky Balboa of the A-Sun. Tuesday, the final day of the tournament, Mercer cut their team score to 291, 4th best on the day to move them into a tie for 11th place.
"We got off to a rough start and just did our best to recover and finish 11th,” said Tredway. “Obviously that doesn't look that great but it's not too bad with the way we started. I need to do a better job at having our players ready to go during the first rounds of the tournament," he added.
Three of Tredway’s five players turned in progressively lower scores as the tournament continued, headed by Matt Kocolowski’s final round 70 to finish the tournament at +5 (T-31st). Josh Cone also pulled off the feat, shooting 76, 75, and 72 to finish two strokes back from Kocolowski in a tie for 37th while John Gregory Joseph (+10, T-49th), Mookie DeMoss (+11, T-53rd), and Stefan Labuschagne (+11, T-53rd) would follow in their wake. Winning the team title, UNC-Wilmington would finish a blistering -2 for the three-day classic, 31 strokes ahead of Mercer’s +29.
"The VCU Shootout is one of the great college events in the country each fall,” Tredway added. “Looking at the caliber of the teams in the field it's definitely an upper tier event. Both our coaching staff and players would rather compete against the very best than play weaker teams just to get wins. We have beaten some of the very best in the nation the last several years and this team will do that once we get ourselves in position after the first round,” said the head coach.
Indeed, Mercer found themselves pitted against many top tier teams. While UNC-Wilmington won, other schools from larger conferences were represented in Wake Forest (2nd – ACC), East Carolina (3rd – CUSA), Virginia Tech (8th – ACC), Iowa State (9th – Big 12), and host Virginia Commonwealth (10th).
After the season-opening 7th place finish at Kiawah Island and the tough finish at the VCU Shootout, Tredway has high hopes for the upcoming Brickyard Collegiate, hosted by Mercer at the Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club here in Macon.
"In order to play well at the Brickyard we have to be relaxed and ready to play during the first round,” he added. “We also need to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities that the other teams capitalize on. I think we'll have a good game plan come October 8 and we'll get off to a great start."
For the fourth year in a row, Mercer hosts a nationally recognized tournament with national powers making their way to Macon for the 15 team tournament. Boston College, Colorado State, Ole Miss, UT-Chattanooga, North Florida, Clemson, Florida State, Gonzaga, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, and Texas-Arlington will all make the trip from out of state to Macon. In-state rivals will square off as well as Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mercer, and 2009 tournament champion and 2010 NCAA Division I Champions Augusta State will also make the visit. It’s a star-studded field that you don’t want to miss.
For more details, visit www.brickyardcollegiate.org and www.mercerbears.com.