The Ole Miss men’s golf team wrapped up regular-season play at the SEC Men’s Golf Championship in St. Simons, Georgia, on April 24. This season, the No. 21 Rebels found consistent success, led by the NCAA’s sixth-ranked golfer, Braden Thornberry.
Thornberry has maintained a 69.75 stroke average after competing in 12 tournaments to date; if he maintains this mark, he will surpass Jonathan Randolph for the university’s lowest stroke average in a season.
In only his second year with the team, Thornberry has already secured a place in Ole Miss history by crushing previous school records for most rounds in a year with scores in the 60s (19), most rounds under par (25) and most rounds of par or better (31).
The sophomore Olive Branch native touts four tournament titles and eight top-five finishes. On the way to an October championship in Georgia, Thornberry set a school record with the lowest three-round score ever recorded (198). Thornberry has been aided by senior Ben Wolcott’s five top-five finishes and 71.06 round average, as well as consistent play from Josh Seiple, Noah West and Kerry Sweeney.
On the season, the team has earned its top-25 ranking from tournament titles at the FACM Intercollegiate tournament in Tennessee, the Autotrader.com Collegiate Classic in Georgia, the Warrior Princeville Makai Intercollegiate tournament in Hawaii and an impressive win at the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic in California.
This year’s squad is now tied with the 2000-2001 men’s team for top five-finishes in a year with 10. At the Autotrader.com Classic, the men’s team made history with its three-day score of 831. This score was the second-lowest tournament total in school history. The high mark stood alone for less than two weeks before the team tied that record with another 831 performance in the Warrior Princeville Makai tournament.
At the Autotrader classic in Georgia, in addition to a tournament total record, the team’s 274 strokes on day two tied for the second-lowest score in Ole Miss history.
The Rebels faced a stacked field last month at the SEC Championship but played strongly throughout. The team qualified comfortably for match play before dropping a 3-2 round to the top-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores in a hard-fought quarterfinal loss.
In team play, the Rebels tied for seventh place with a notable three-day score of just 12 over par. Braden Thornberry placed third in the individual standings with a three-day total of six under par.
With consistently strong performances in the books, the Rebels stand poised to make an impressive postseason run. Coach Chris Malloy said he feels like his team will use its SEC Tournament loss as “fuel for their fire in our quest for a national championship.”
The Rebels’ road to the championship will begin May 15 as they travel to Austin, Texas, for the NCAA Austin Regional at the University of Texas Golf Club. Ole Miss earned a four seed in the NCAA amongst a field of teams including golf powerhouses No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Arizona State.