Men’s golf battles weather, ties for eighth in Milwaukee

Posted on Oct 5 2017 - 7:59am by Maggie Crouch

SUGAR GROVE, IL – MAY 29: Ole Miss Rebel’ Braden Thornberry plays the ball from the tee during round four of the 2017 Division I Men’s Golf Championships on May 29, 2017, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Wrapping up Tuesday evening, the Ole Miss men’s golf team tied for eighth place in the Marquette Intercollegiate. The tournament was held in Milwaukee at the Erin Hills Golf Course, which was the site of the 2017 U.S. Open.

Led by junior Braden Thornberry, who came in fifth place overall, the team struggled to find its groove amidst fierce wind throughout the three days, especially in the first round Sunday.

“We did a very poor job of handling some adverse conditions,” head coach Chris Malloy said. “This is an area that we did a great job last year, so I know that we can do a better job.”

Despite not being able to adapt as well as Malloy would have liked, the Rebels tied for eighth with Purdue University, finishing 308-291-302—901 overall. Dominating the par 5s, the Rebels played the holes 5-under and led the tournament in the category.

Thornberry, who scored 71-70-75—216 individually, began his final round with a birdie but checked in at 1-over at the turn. Thornberry ultimately ended the day 3-over, but his 32 pars and 11 birdies throughout the tournament allowed him to hold his place on the leaderboard, marking the 15th top-five finish of his career.

Junior Beau Briggs was also instrumental in the Rebels’ top-10 finish. With the help of five birdies, Briggs led the Rebels in the final round, carding 1-over-par on the day and finishing in a five-way tie for 37th (80-75-73—228).

Briggs shared this place with sophomore Brody Blackmon, who led the players competing individually. Blackmon found seven birdies during the three days for a 74-76-76—226 result.

The No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies ultimately won by 11 strokes, with a final overall score of 293-287-286—866, followed by the UCLA Bruins in second with an 877 and the home-course Marquette Golden Eagles finishing third with an 879.

With only two tournaments down, Ole Miss golf is months away from the SEC Tournament in April. According to coach Malloy, the Rebels have coming their way some fierce competition and a lot of time to prove themselves.

“We are close to playing some very good golf,” Malloy said. “We just need to put it all together.”

Ole Miss will hit the road again to head to Nashville, Tennessee, where it will participate in The Grove Intercollegiate Oct. 8-10, and Malloy hopes the team can recover after this past tournament.

“This will be a quick turnaround before our next event,” Malloy said. “We need to get back and be ready to go.”