Ole Miss men’s and women’s golf enter spring season crunch time

Posted on Mar 28 2019 - 5:50am by Flint Christian

The Ole Miss men’s and women’s golf teams are in excellent shape as they hit the homestretches of their respective seasons and try to round into form before conference tournaments.

The women’s team recently returned from the Evans Derby Experience hosted by Auburn on March 25. They finished tied for 10th place while shooting a combined score of 901, good for 37 over par. The Rebels were led by sophomore Julia Johnson, who notched her third individual top-10 finish of the spring with a 2-over score of 218.

The Rebels’ top-10 finish in the Evans Derby Experience comes only a week after they finished fifth in a competitive field at the Tar Heel Classic in the Dominican Republic. Their performance was stellar. As a team as they shot 9 over and finished ahead of the 19th-ranked TCU team.

“This course played tough today with a lot of tucked pins and gusty winds,” said head coach Kory Henkes after the tournament. “The team really grinded all day and played with a lot of fight. We made some clutch birdies down the stretch, and I know we can take a lot of positives from this week.”

Houston, Texas; Feb. 18, 2019. Photo courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

Johnson is on a streak of excellent golf, as she also played well at the Tar Heel Classic, finishing in the top five individually after shooting 3 under for the tournament.

“Coming off another solid week, I’m feeling really good about the rest of the season,” Johnson said. “I’ve played some really consistent golf the past few days, made a lot of ups and downs, and it gives me a lot of confidence moving forward.”

Freshman Ellen Hutchinson-Kay finished in the top 15 individually and shot 219, good for 3 over par and another top-20 finish, her fourth of the season. Hutchinson-Kay was also named SEC Freshman of the Week for her performance in the Tar Heel Classic.

The team will travel April 1-2 to Argyle, Texas, for The Bruzzy Challenge, and April 13-15 to the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Georgia, as they try to prepare for the SEC Championship, which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, from April 17-21.

Men’s golf has also been busy recently. Before this past weekend, Ole Miss had three straight runs of top-seven finishes along with a match win against the University of South Florida. In the Lamkin San Diego Classic, senior Josh Seiple finished in the top 10 individually while the team tied for seventh at 14 over par.

The Rebels played extremely well at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate, where they placed seventh — ahead of many SEC teams such as Texas A&M, Alabama and Arkansas, who have all been ranked in national polls. There, it was senior Beau Briggs’s turn to pick up a top-10 individual finish. He shot 3 under par and was one of only eight golfers to play each of his rounds at or below par.

The men’s team finished last overall at the Hootie at Bulls Bay in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday afternoon. The No. 48 Rebels finished 18 over, shooting 882 overall.

“This was as bad of a week as we have had in quite some time. In this game, it just happens, and you have to have a short memory and be better from it,” head coach Chris Malloy said after the tough round. “What separates true champions, both players and coaches, from the rest are the ones that can handle a bad week and respond with a great tournament the next.”

The week wasn’t all bad, as Jackson Suber was named SEC Freshman of the Week for his performance at the Hootie at Bulls Bay. Suber paced the team, shooting a 2-over 218 and finishing 33rd individually.

The Rebels have the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship in West Point on April 15-16 before the SEC Championship the following week.