Golf confident as PBC Championship nears
ith a win-or-go-home mentality, the GC golf team advances to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship, which begins Friday, April 13 and ends Sunday, April 15. Because their rocky start in the fall, the team must win the whole tournament in order to continue their season.
The tournament will take place at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. hosted by Flagler College. After playing 54 holes over three days, the winner of the tournament will progress to Regionals.
The starting lineup consists of the top five golfers on the team. Four out of the five lowest scores are added together and compared to the other teams, determining the team’s finish.
Head coach Patrick Garrett said he feels pretty good about the tournament.
“We’ve been playing much better this spring, and the guys have put in a lot of work,” Garrett said.
According to Garrett, the team has improved tremendously over the season and only needs confidence and patience going into the tournament.
In the starting lineup, senior Thomas Hodges, a marketing major, is the only returner of the GC team. Garrett said Hodges has an advantage because he has played the course several times and understands the holes.
In order to help the guys prepare for the tournament, Garrett finds a local course around the Milledgeville area that is the most similar to Flagler’s course. This gives the team a better idea of what type of course they will be playing.
Hodges said he not only hopes to bring home a win but also wants to simply have great time with his teammates and enjoy some good weather. He also expressed mixed emotions about the tournament.
“I am excited about the tournament, but I am kind of sad because it could be my last one,” Hodges said.
Hodges said he must continue practicing his short game, including putting and chipping, to get ready for the tournament.
Because of his love for the game of golf, Hodges plans to move to Florida and caddy some to stay within the golf environment after college.
Senior Justin Connelly said he hopes this will not be his last college tournament, but he does plan to take advantage and enjoy every shot he takes. Like Hodges, Connelly plans to continue his golf career after college. He said he has signed up for several big tournaments this upcoming summer.
Along with his golf career, Connelly was recently accepted into Kennesaw State University’s nursing program, which he will begin in August, in hopes to also begin a career in the medical field.
“It’s going to take perseverance and focus to give our best effort on all 18 holes,” Connelly said. “A lot of times we get off to a really good start, then get too relaxed or fatigued and lose the lead. We’ve got to keep the foot on the peddle and stay aggressive.”
The team hopes that their hard work pays off this weekend so they can bring a PBC Championship trophy back to GC.