VT Golf - Jay Hardwick Interview :: Head Coach Jay Hardwick talks about the Virginia Tech Golf team's season, including a 19-stroke win in the Furman Intercollegiate last weekend. 3.27.13
Well, the Hokies are back in Blacksburg, signaling the end of this fun run through the NCAAs. It’s been a lot of fun blogging for hokiesports.com and I truly appreciate all the positive feedback.
Now for a round of thank yous. First off, a big thanks to this team and the coaches. They have given me tremendous access and really made me feel a part of the program. Also, a tip of the cap to the great parents who are a big part of the success, both on and off the course, of this program.
Going back to Bowling Green, thanks to the folks at Western Kentucky and the Club at Olde Stone. My guess is they will host a national championship in the near future and I certainly hope the Hokies are there.
In LA, thanks to the folks at USC and the fabulous Riviera Country Club. It was a first rate experience all around and was a special trip for all of us. Riviera is, perhaps, the most beautiful course I’ve ever seen. Also in LA, another shout out to Alex and Whitney Phillips for their hospitality on Tuesday night. And while I’m at it, a round of applause to Bill Murray for entertaining everyone at the banquet on Monday night.
Back home in Blacksburg, take a bow, Damian Salas. We could not do this or any blog without his expertise. Hokiesports.com is a totally in-house production and I think it’s the best in the nation. If he can design things that allow someone like me to post text, photos and videos to a web page, he really must be the best.
Also thank you to David Knachel and Tommy Regan, who gave me the technology to bring all this to you. And to Dave Smith, Tim East and Jim Weaver, my bosses who allow me to do all of this.
Until next time, Go Hokies!
The Hokies will be returning to Blacksburg on Friday. Tech will wake up around 6:30 a.m., check out of the hotel, grab a bite to eat and head to LAX. The longest leg of the flight takes the team to Charlotte, before the connecting flight to Lynchburg. If all works out well, the Hokies should be back on campus before midnight. Tonight is the night that most of the packing will take place and that’s what I have to do as soon as I’m done here.
The tournament continues with match play beginning in the morning, but not before Kent State and Florida State meet in a playoff for the eighth spot in match play. That playoff begins at 8 a.m., before match play begins at 10 a.m. Also, congratulations to Thomas Pieters of Illinois for winning the individual title today.
I’ll update during the day and will do a final wrap-up tomorrow or Saturday.
L.A. as been fun and interesting, but its time to head East. Blacksburg, here we come.
Okay, the morning wave is finished and it looks like we can officially say the Hokies finished 24th overall. All in all, it was a pretty good final day of action for Tech and a solid finish.
It’s never easy playing with just four players, especially in the NCAA championship. With Mikey Moyers back at the hotel for the final round, that’s what the other four players were faced with. This grouped bonded together and produced a round 10 strokes better than its previous best, a 299 on Tuesday.
It may not rain in Southern California, but the wind does blow. That was perhaps the one thing that surprised me the most. But other than that, the weather was perfect.
The Riviera Country Club was everything it was cracked up to be and more. A challenging venue for any championship and a beautiful facility, Riviera was a great place to be. Kudos to the NCAA, USC and RCC for putting on a first-class show.
This is a young team. Only Blake Redmond will not return next year. Blake will be missed, both on the course and off. He is an excellent golfer and a better kid - a true pleasure to be around. We wish him all the best. We’ll also miss his parents, who have been a positive influence on this program for the past four years. Blake left on an even-par round. Not a bad thing at all. For the rest of this team, the future is bright.
This afternoon and tonight will be rest, packing, and a good dinner. I’ll blog a few more times before we make it home. And I’ll do a proper Thank You blog after we get back to campus.
I’ll make this one short and check back in after we return to the hotel. The Hokies finished today with a five-over-par 289, 10 strokes better than the best of our previous two rounds. At present, Tech is tied for 24th. Scott Vincent was our low man, as he is tied for 55th. These number may change, so keep checking the live stats.
Mikey Moyers, who had to withdraw from Wednesday’s round due to illness, was unable to play today, so the Hokies went with four players. This group showed great toughness and resiliency to post such a solid round.
I’ll have a video and a photo gallery, along with a story and a blog later this afternoon and evening.
First off, my apologies for not blogging at the turn. I decided to stay down the hill on the course and take some more photos, since I knew the lighting would not be great at the end of the round.
Secondly, an update on Mikey Moyers. Mikey became ill during the second round and was forced to withdraw at the turn. He was seen by the medical staff on site and returned to the hotel with the team after the round. His availability for the third round will not be determined until Thursday morning.
The round itself produced some of the strangest things I’ve ever seen in a golf tournament, especially an NCAA event. Some I can tell you, some I can’t. Let’s just say strange, all the way around.
It was great to see Tuesday night’s host, Alex Phillips and his daughter, Natalie, on the course this afternoon. Once again, wonderful people. They were able to meet the parents of our players that were able to make their way to California. The Phillips’ even hung a Go Hokies banner off of the fence behind their house, just above the 18th tee. I hope the photo I took will show it well enough. I hope to have that gallery and a video posted a little later.
The Phillips’ got to see one of the strange scenes from today. Tulsa’s Mark Mumford hit his second shot into the right bunker on No. 17. When he got there, no ball was found. He, his playing partners and those fans around the green began looking. A rules official came over to help and advise. It was quite a site seeing players and fans looking for the ball, some (Yours Truly included) lying on their stomachs with their heads looking under the lip of the trap for the ball that was never found. Mumford eventually had to go back and hit again. The best anyone can figure is the ball got stuck in the heavy Kikuyu grass on the lip.
This brings me to one of the things that I love about collegiate golf. It didn’t matter who you were there supporting, you went and helped that young man. There were a lot of Hokies, Cardinals and Golden Hurricanes looking for a little round golf ball. The sportsmanship shown by our players and fans was outstanding. Truly, Hokies Respect.
There was also a reported sighting of Larry David on the course. He, too, is a resident of the area and a neighbor of the Phillips’. Rumor has it Tom Hanks also lives in that area.
I’ll be back at it first thing Thursday morning, as the Hokies will tee off at 7 a.m.
We’re back at the Riviera Country Club after a long, restful night and morning. The team came out a little before noon and had lunch, before heading to the range to prepare for their 2 p.m. tee time.
Tech is competing in the afternoon wave on Wednesday. In short, the teams that played Tuesday morning and those that played Tuesday afternoon switch spots on Wednesday. The Hokies are the last group of the Wednesday afternoon wave.
A funny thing happens on Wednesday morning. Since most teams shoot over par for the championship, a large group will “back-up” Wednesday morning. When Tech went to sleep last night, they were tied for 24th place. While eating lunch on Wednesday, they were up to 16th place on the leader board.
The one thing that this illustrates is that if a team like Virginia Tech would shoot a low number, it can jump up the board significantly. Today becomes a very big day for the Hokies and all teams, for that matter.
The USC officials reported that there was an earthquake up the coast in Malibu last night. It measured 4.1 magnitude. We never felt in Santa Monica.
The weather is once again perfect. We’ll see how the wind goes. The lighter the winds, most likely, the better for the Hokies. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated.
Okay, the story is written and posted, the video shot, edited and posted and all the tweets are done for the day. A photo gallery should be coming tonight or tomorrow shot by a local professional photographer. I still haven’t fixed the issues that I have with the phone, but I’ll take a break from that and post a final blog for the evening, because, this was a special night for the Hokies.
It’s always nice when people you have never met are kind enough to invite you into their homes. Tonight, the Virginia Tech golf team had the pleasure and the honor of just such a night. We all want to say a very special and heart-felt thank you to Whitney and Alex Phillips and their children for hosting a dinner for the team and staff.
The Phillips live in a beautiful house with a spectacular view overlooking the 18th tee at the Riviera Country Club. Although they have no ties to the Hokies, they were gracious enough to have us over for a great meal and some nice conversation. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed himself and it truly was a great evening. Usually, road trips are hotels, golf courses, vans, and chain restaurants. To be able to take some time to relax is very rare. We even got to watch some of the teams in the afternoon wave finish their rounds on No. 18 at RCC down below us. Once again, thank you very much from all of your new friends at Tech.
The way the NCAA works it, the teams that play early on Tuesday don’t tee off until Wednesday afternoon (and vice versa). So Tech won’t leave for the course until around 11 a.m. PDT for their 2 p.m. tee times. The players will enjoy the extra time to sleep and rest, especially since each of the last two mornings started at or before 5 a.m. After today’s round, a little additional rest will probably be very welcome to the players.
As you have noticed, I haven’t been doing much updating on weather conditions. Our web master has the local conditions on this page and, well, what more can you say other than “perfect”? It did get a little windy this afternoon and that could happen again tomorrow.
I’ll check in tomorrow before we tee off and will have everything post-round again. Remember the three-hour time difference. We probably will not get back to the clubhouse until after 10 p.m. eastern time.
Virginia Tech has completed round one at Riviera and it was not a kind day for Tech. The Hokies shot a 15-over-par 299 and are near the bottom of the morning wave teams. The afternoon wave is currently still on the course, so we’ll wait until then to see where we stack up after the first round.
Individually, no Hokie is under par. Scott Vincent and Bryce Chalkley both finished at two-over 73 on Tuesday. Chalkley played the back nine one-under-par, after Vincent had made the turn even-par.
The way the NCAA does things is flip the groups on the second day. So Tech, along with Lamar and Tulsa, will tee off from No. 10 at 2 p.m., on Wednesday afternoon.
One thing of note here this morning, as the iconic Song Girls from host USC were at Riviera, handing out tee time sheets. Also, along the celebrity sightings of yesterday, former Auburn golfer and current PGA Tour player Jason Dufner is here supporting the Tigers. Dufner has two Tour wins already this season and leads the FedEx Cup points. Tech’s Johnson Wagner is 10th on that list.
Tech has made the turn and I have hoofed it back up the hill to the media center. The Hokies are +7 and tied for 6th place among the morning wave. Scot Vincent used birdies at No. 2 and No. 9 to remain even par through nine holes.
I had hoped to tweet from the course during the tournament, but the new smart phone is not cooperating. Without the ability to text, tweet and check scores on the internet, this has become a difficult task. I’ll try and work something out and hopefully I’ll be able to do more in the future.
The weather is absolutely gorgeous. However, the winds have picked up noticeably in the last hour or so. If the wind continues throughout the afternoon, expect some elevated scores in the afternoon wave.
We will have photo gallery this afternoon and I’ll have the first press release after the second wave finishes. I also hope to have a video or two later tonight.
Okay, I have 10 minutes to get to the first tee, so this will be very short and sweet.
The Hokies are about to begin their first round in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship at the Riviera Country Club. This is Tech’s first appearance in the event since 2002 at Ohio State.
Blake Redmond will lead it off for the Hokies, who will be grouped with Tulsa and Lamar the first two rounds. I will attempt to tweet from the course, if the new phone allows. Until then, Go Hokies!
Okay, I have 10 minutes to get to the first tee, so this will be very short and sweet.
The Hokies are about to begin their first round in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship at the Riviera Country Club. This is Tech’s first appearance in the event since 2002 at Ohio State.
Blake Redmond will lead it off for the Hokies, who will be grouped with Tulsa and Lamar the first two rounds. I will attempt to tweet from the course, if the new phone allows. Until then, Go Hokies!
In all honesty, this was going to be called the Happy Birthday Blog, right up until about 8 o’clock. Today is Jay Hardwick’s birthday and we certainly want to wish him a happy one. And, truth be told, he’s doing exactly what he wants on his birthday; coaching the Hokies in a national championship tournament. Yes, I know how old he is, but I’ll never tell. But seriously, Happy Birthday, Coach.
Okay, now the reason for the new title of the blog. Tonight, Riviera Country Club hosted a fantastic banquet for all the teams, players and staff. Great food and the featured speaker was Scott Simpson, the 1987 U.S. Open champion who won two NCAA titles at USC, the host of this event.
Well, as some might be aware, Scott Simpson’s long-time teammate at the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach is Academy Award-nominated actor, Bill Murray. As I went out in the hallway to get another glass of mint iced tea (maybe the best I’ve ever had), I thought I saw Mr. Murray in line to get food. When I returned to the table and told everyone, several folks got up to go see. No one saw him, and I think they thought I was seeing things in my old age.
After a short delay, Bill Murray did, indeed, enter the room. Simpson then got up to speak and after a few minutes, invited his good friend to join him at the podium. About 20-30 minutes later, he was still up there. Murray was as funny as expected, but also made several serious points to those in attendance. Both Simpson and Murray did a great job.
Now, anytime you get to be around a well-known celebrity, it’s a treat. When the audience is made up of golfers and golf fans, and the celebrity is Bill Murray, well, that becomes an evening that a lot of folks, including myself, will never forget. I know all the Hokie players thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Now, back to business. We arrived back at the hotel a good deal later than expected because of the added length to the program, so the coaches’ meeting got off to a late start. Hardwick and Brian Sharp are there now and the players are back in their rooms getting some rest for tomorrow’s opening round.
Tech will tee off on hole No. 1 beginning with senior Blake Redmond at 8:40 a.m. Remember, you can follow live stats on the link to the right of this blog on hokiesports.com. I will try and post a video a little later. I know these are late, but with the three-hour time difference and the full schedule here, today sometimes becomes tomorrow. I plan to tweet from the course in the morning, it the new phone works. Until then, Go Hokies!
The Hokies are currently playing the back nine in their practice round at the Riviera Country Club. To call this place spectacular might just be an insult. There is a lot of natural beauty here at RCC.
I generally take about 65-70 photos during nine holes of a practice round and cut those down to about 35 for the photo galleries I post. This morning, the total was over 200 shots. A lot of them were of the scenery here on the course. Not just beautiful scenery, but scenes we don’t see back home. I’ll try and cut that number down to a workable number before I post the gallery. I’ve tried to include some that show both the players and the beauty of this venue.
Brendon de Jonge and Johnson Wagner can rest assured that the time the graciously spent on the phone with the golf coaches was time well spent. The notes given by our PGA Tour players last week were definitely being used by the team and the coaches in today’s practice round. Each player had a printout of the notes and had studied them closely.
The players seemed really excited to get started this morning. There was a definite energy to the guys from breakfast on. They all realize this is a big time venue hosting a big time event. The feel of today is totally different that practice round day at a regional. There is a definite feel of competition here. The best in the world of collegiate golf is here in LA.
With today being Memorial Day, the drive to the course was not too bad. LA traffic was tough last night, but with the hours we will be traveling, the hope is it won’t be too rough.
The team will be finishing up soon and grab a box lunch and then head back to the practice range to prepare for tomorrow. Tech will tee off from No. 1 tee at 8:40 a.m. PDT on Tuesday morning.
I’ll post a photo gallery in a few minutes and I’ll have a video and another blog later tonight. I hope everybody has had a great Memorial Day Weekend.
Today was both a rousing success and a very nice experience for the Virginia Tech golf team. The Hokies got up early and headed over to the Los Angele Country Club for a round of golf. The team got to play a course that is prestigious and competitive. Word from the players is it was first-class, all the way. The course is rated one of the top 25 in the nation. According to some players, there were monkeys on the course that came over from a nearby mansion. I’ll have to check into that some more.
Sunday was a very important day for the Hokies in preparation for the championship. Not only does it afford the team to be challenged by an outstanding course no one in the group had ever played previously, it also helps in the adjustment time their bodies are going through.
The Hokies spent Saturday night in the JW Marriott in Santa Monica and had to pack up everything Sunday morning before heading to LACC. Then, after returning, it was the second check-in in as many days, as the team moved next door to the Loews Santa Monica Beach Resort. And when I say next door, think closer than Lane Stadium is to the Merryman Center. The Loews is the official hotel for all the teams here in Los Angeles and is right on the beach. The team took a few minutes before dinner to walk down to the nearby and world-famous Santa Monica Pier. I’ll post some photos later in the week to show just how close we are to the Pacific Ocean and the pier.
Also, before dinner, Coach Hardwick got the team checked-in and after dinner, he had the usual team meeting. As I blogged about from Bowling Green, Hardwick is a creature of habit and he and Brian Sharp keep things the same, whether its an early season tournament in the fall, or the national championship. If something works, keep with it.
Tomorrow, Tech will get its first look at Riviera Country Club. I’ll be interested in seeing the storied course. In a way, it will be a lot like going to Fenway Park or Madison Square Garden, both very familiar athletic venues. Through the years, we have all seen a lot of golf on this course, just never from the actual site. It will be interesting to see how the mind’s eye will view this familiar course. Familiar to those of us who have watched a lot of golf on TV.
I will try and post a video of Coach Hardwick before I turn in here tonight. Tomorrow, I hope to blog, tweet, do a photo gallery and a video. The competition is closing in fast. Make sure to keep checking back here for more updates.
Welcome to Los Angeles! Santa Monica, to be precise. The Hokies landed at LAX around 7 p.m. PDT, or 10 p.m. Blacksburg time. The trip was basically uneventful. A delay here, an attack of bugs there, but all-in-all, a good trip.
While driving through Bedford County, heading to the Lynchburg airport, a swarm of flying bugs hit the van, forcing a stop to clean the windshield. I don’t know much about bugs. Could they have been cicadas?
One truly neat thing that happened on the trip was during the taxi to the gate at LAX. There was a group of about 8-10 members of the armed forces in uniform on the plane and the flight attendant thanked them for their service to the country. An impromptu round of applause erupted in the cabin. I’m sure it would have been a standing ovation, if we weren’t still moving.
After getting the rental vans, the first stop was to get something to eat and the team got right into that LA vibe with a stop at In-N-Out Burger. If you’ve never been there, go. A West Coast chain, the menu is simple and the burgers are simply outstanding.
The team will stay tonight at the JW Marriott in Santa Monica, before moving next door to the Loews tomorrow. There was a mix-up by the hotel in the booking and most of the teams that came in today had to scramble for accommodations tonight. I have to say Jay Hardwick made a great choice. The JW Marriott is a top-level hotel, directly next door to the Loews. The team will rise early on Sunday morning and head off for a round at the posh Los Angeles Country Club.
The weather here is expected to be cool throughout the tournament. Highs are expected to be high 60s, low 70s. Perfect, in other words.
I’ll try and post a few photos taken in route and tomorrow. I’ll also be tweeting more often on this trip. Even though the clock here says 11 p.m., my body knows it’s really 2 a.m., so I’ll call it a night.
I thought I’d take a minute to do one more blog before the Hokies take off for the Left Coast tomorrow.
Tech is playing this morning at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech. This will be the last chance to play before heading west. Coach Hardwick decided it was best to play in the morning and then give the team the afternoon off to pack and get things ready for the trip. The team will load the van tomorrow morning for the drive to Lynchburg to catch a flight to Charlotte and then on to LAX. The NCAA has a travel agency that makes the reservations and this was deemed the least expensive flight to Los Angeles.
The team has done a number interviews with various media members this week, which you will see in the coming few days. There will be more media out in Los Angeles, especially on Monday and Tuesday.
The number of calls, texted and e-mails this week from former team members has been incredible. Two that have been of particular help have been calls from PGA Tour members Jonson Wagner and Brendon de Jonge. Both have spent considerable time on the phone with the coaching staff discussing the course at Riviera Country Club. Once a Hokie, always a Hokie.
One thing came up the other day that you just don’t see too often anymore, but I think it’s a great reflection on these guys and I’d like to share it with you. Usually when the golf team travels, whether by van or plane, the team dresses in team apparel. This apparel is always very presentable and looks nice and usually consists of a nice golf shirt, slacks and dress-type shoes. Well, the team approached Hardwick the other day and asked if it would be all right to dress in a sport coat, buttoned-down dress shirt and slacks. Their reason was, this is a national championship and they want to look their best. Hardwick, of course, agreed.
I’ll try and check in from the road tomorrow, time and internet connection willing. I will definitely post from the hotel on Saturday night. You know, the hotel right on the Pacific Ocean? Until then, here’s wishing everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend.
Welcome back to the golf blog. It’s Wednesday and I thought today would be a good day to catch our fans up on some of the things that are happening prior to the trip to California.
There has been a lot of excitement and hard work in the preparations. Flights had to be booked, along with hotel rooms and vehicles. The coaches and administration have worked hard to acquire a top-level course to play on Sunday. The coaches have been gathering all the information they can on the Riviera Country Club from those who are familiar with it, including Brendon de Jonge. The team has heard from a lot of our former team members this week.
The team will arrive in Los Angeles Saturday night and will play on a course in LA on Sunday. The team will stay at the official hotel in Santa Monica, right on the Pacific Ocean.
The team had Sunday and Monday off, but were back at the practice facility on Tuesday. The team will practice and play in the Blacksburg area the rest of the week. The coaches and players had some media requests to take care of on Tuesday and will again this afternoon.
The practice round is on Monday and three days of stroke play begins on Tuesday.
Tech will tee off in its practice round at 8 a.m. PDT on Monday morning and will be grouped with Tulsa and Lamar in its first round on Tuesday morning and again in the second round on Wednesday afternoon. The three teams will tee off beginning at 8:40 a.m. PDT on Tuesday and beginning at 2 p.m. PDT on Wednesday.
Our webmaster Damian Salas has updated the web site with the information for Los Angeles and I will hopefully be updating a few blogs before we hop on the jet heading west.
Before we leave, we need to send out congratulations to Maclain Huge. Huge, who will enter Tech as a freshman in the fall and will join the golf team, won his third VISAA state high school golf championship on Monday at Sleepy Hole Golf Course in Suffolk. Maclain finished sixth in the Scott Robertson Memorial Tournament in Roanoke, which ended Sunday and then drove straight through to Suffolk and played the event without the benefit of a practice round. He shot a bogey-free 66 on Monday to claim the title.
Okay, Back in Blacksburg, rested, fed and having had time to digest what all went on in Bowling Green.
First of all, congratulations to the team and the coaches. Jay Hardwick has told this team over the last several months that they had yet to play their best golf. This obviously proved true in Bowling Green. Tech was perhaps the steadiest team in the field. They never got too high or too low. When one player started to struggle, there were four teammates there to pick him up.
If there were any people happier than the players and coaches, it was the parents and family of the golfers. This is an extremely close-knit group and when it became evident that the Hokies were, indeed, going to advance to LA, the reactions of the parents were priceless. Lots of hugs and fist bumps. Joy is a pretty awesome emotion.
It was a long trip back from Kentucky, but the time seemed to fly by. The coaches took turns driving and also did some early prep work for the trip. The players, well, they mainly slept. The Club at Olde Stone was a tough course to walk and with the high temperatures, there were some exhausted golfers in the vehicles heading home.
This will be Tech’s first trip to the championships since the 2002 season. That year, we drove to Columbus, Ohio. This time, it will be a flight to LAX and playing in the Pacific time zone. But it all comes down to championship golf, and that’s what this team will focus on this week. The team will get Sunday and Monday off, while the staff recruits and works on details for the trip. Exciting times, indeed.
I’ve just posted a new video and hope to have a photo gallery up within the hour. Also, keep checking back during the week and we will update more info on the championships at Riviera.
Just a quick note that the Hokies have returned safe and sound to Blacksburg following their fourth place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional in Bowling Green, Ky.
We'll have more on Saturday's finish some time on Sunday. Thanks for reading and good night.
This will be short and very sweet. The Hokies finished fourth and advance to the national championship in LA over Memorial Day Weekend. Scott Vincent finished tied for third for his best collegiate finish.
The team is tired and excited and want to get on the road to Blacksburg, so I’ve got to go too. I’ll check back in Sunday with more on this day.
Thanks for reading and Go Hokies!
It’s 7:25 a.m. CDT and the Hokies are on the practice range preparing for their biggest day of the season to date. When the final round begins at 7:30 a.m., the Hokies will be in fifth place in a tournament where the top five teams advance to the nationals.
The Hokies were up early this morning, packing the van at 5:45 a.m. Early days are nothing new to this group. A little different for yours truly.
I’ll try and post again post-round, but will have to do the press release first. It may be early Sunday morning before the next blog gets posted. We’ll just have to see how the day goes, as the team will get on the road as quickly as possible after everything is decided. I also hope to have a photo gallery and a video or two, but they may have to wait until we arrive back in Blacksburg.
Remember to follow the live stats and root on the Hokies.
That’s right, tonight is the last night in Bowling Green. Really nice place. Found a really good restaurant, which is always great.
The Hokies go to sleep knowing they have a very good shot of advancing to Riviera Country Club. Nothing is given, but all you can ask for is a chance and Tech is right there.
The team had a short meeting then a very good meal at Montana Grille. I love spending time with these guys. They are truly good people who really enjoy what they do and being around each other. A true pleasure to be around.
The team will awaken early on Saturday morning, check out of the hotel, pack the van for the long trip home and then eat breakfast. All before heading to the course. Win, lose or draw, the team will return to Blacksburg tomorrow night, so everything must be packed beforehand.
In an extreme oddity, the Hokies will be grouped tomorrow with Memphis and Northwestern, the same two teams Tech has played with in each of the first two rounds. This almost NEVER happens, but in the rare times it does, the teams never tee-off in the same order all three rounds, like the Hokies, Tigers and Wildcats will. The three teams will tee off from No. 1 beginning at 7:50 a.m.
Before we call it a night, lets talk a little about Drew Weaver. As I mentioned this morning, Drew celebrated his 25th birthday today. He had the good fortune of being back in his hometown of High Point, N.C., as he is playing in the eGolf Tour’s Willow Creek Open. You see, Drew grew up playing Willow Creek. Well, tonight, Drew has more to celebrate than just his birthday, as he won the Willow Creek Open, with rounds of 65-68-67=200. Before the team even got to eat lunch, the first question was “How did Drew do?” Once a Hokie, always a Hokie. Great job, Drew!
Well, we’ll check back in after the team tees off in the final round. Make sure to follow on the live stats. Saturday is set up to be an interesting day on the course.
The Hokies accomplished what they set out to do on Friday. They finished the round under-par and in a position to play well on Saturday and advance to the nationals. As the second round is coming to a close, the Hokies are likely to be fifth at the end of the day. Remember, the top five teams from each regional advance to the nationals.
All any team can hope for is a chance and the Hokies certainly have a very good chance to advance. Tech posted a round of two-under-par 286 and will definitely be in the hunt when the third round begins on Saturday morning.
After a quick lunch, the Hokies, as is their routine, were back on the practice range. Jay Hardwick told me that they had some things they needed to work on, but he wanted to make sure he didn’t wear the team out heading into tomorrow. The temperatures were much higher today and with this being such a long course, fatigue could come into play.
I know this sounds like a broken record, but the Hokies will practice, head back to the hotel, have a team meeting and grab dinner. When they return to the hotel from dinner, it will be in their rooms and resting for what is shaping up to be a big day on Saturday.
Check back after dinner when I’ll have tee times and a few other Hokie notes. Also, I’ll hope to post a couple of videos and a photo gallery tonight.
The Hokies got off to an earlier start this morning, teeing off from No. 10 beginning at 8 a.m. CDT. Tech is once again playing with Memphis and Northwestern, which is a rarity. Even more rare is that the teams teed off at No. 10 in the same order as yesterday.
Northwestern is wearing white shirts, Memphis is in blue, gray and white stripes, so there no missing the Hokies out on the course. Tech is wearing bright orange shirts with orange hats and white shorts. Makes it easy to pick out which team is which, especially handy in the bright sunshine of Friday morning.
The weather is predicted to be a little warmer today, but still not too bad. Tech had two birdies, two pars and a bogie on the 10th holes, the first of the morning. We’ll check back after the completion of the second round. And remember to follow along on Twitter.
Just got back from an outstanding dinner at a nearby restaurant with a fellow SID here at the regional. Great ribeye. I’m sure the team also dined well tonight, as well. Ran into a group of our parents and fans who were also enjoying this outstanding restaurant. Our parents really get along well and are great to be around.
I wish we could stay around Bowling Green another day, as John Mellencamp is giving a free concert Saturday night at the Western Kentucky football stadium. Unfortunately, the Hokies will be heading back to Blacksburg following the final round on Saturday afternoon.
The Hokies will get off to an earlier start on Friday morning. Tech will be grouped with Memphis and Northwestern again in the second round, the same two teams as the first round on Thursday. It’s rare that teams are grouped the same in the second round as in the first round.
With seven teams bunched within three strokes, from second to eighth place, Saturday should be interesting at the Club at Olde Stone. As is often the case at NCAA Regionals, very few teams play their way out of contention in the first round. Keep checking back with the blog, the live stats and Twitter during the day on Saturday. Until then, have a great night.
The Hokies are in good shape after the first round of the NCAA South Central Regional here in Bowling Green. In a format that allows for the top five teams to advance, Tech is in eighth place, but just three strokes out of second place.
It’s not surprising that:
A) A) UCLA is leading. The Bruins won this regional in 2009 with the only score under par.
B) B) A lot of teams are bunched just behind them. Eight teams here are ranked in the top 50.
C) C) The Hokies are in the hunt. Tech generally plays better on very tough golf courses.
Scott Vincent was low man for the Hokies. The freshman from Harare, Zimbabwe showed no signs of nerves in his first NCAA appearance. His two-under 70 has him tied for fourth individually. And one of the golfers in front of him is world amateur No. 1 Patrick Cantlay of UCLA.
Tech’s other strong round was senior Blake Redmond’s 73. The senior from Sugar Land, Texas is on his fourth NCAA trip and knows the ropes in these types of events. Remember from earlier blogs that Redmond traveled with the team to Austin, Texas as a freshman, but did not play in the regional. Still, Redmond gained valuable experience on that trip. He is tied for 11th after the first round. Redmond finished tied for 10th in the regional last year at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech.
After a quick post-round lunch, the Hokies once again hit the practice green and range. Check out the video on the blog page to get Coach Hardwick’s thoughts on preparations for Friday’s second round.
Well, it’s off to the hotel to write the press release to post on hokiesports.com and send out to the media. I’ll have a short blog later with tee times for tomorrow. Once again, thanks for reading.
A fitting title for a blog here in the Bluegrass State. The tournament has begun and all five Hokies are on the course.
A good contingent of families and a few fans have made their way out here to Bowling Green and the Club at Old Stone. The team seemed loose and ready to play this morning. The weather is perfect. Warm, but not hot. A breeze is blowing, but it’s not windy.
The team spent about an hour on the range and putting green warming up and then made their way up the hill to the No. 1 tee. After meeting their opponents, the players received some pre-round instructions and then waited their turn to tee off.
We’ll check in later and have a post-round story, blog, photo gallery and video. I think we have the video issues of yesterday worked out.
Just a couple of quick things before we call it a night.
The Hokies just concluded their meeting and are in for the night here in Bowling Green. The meeting was informative to say the least. Coach Hardwick went over a wide range of topics, including rules, course situations and other subjects the team needs to know. Whether it’s where to go in case of bad weather or pace of play, the Hokies are informed.
Also discussed was Thursday’s morning schedule. The Hokies are early risers and will eat and then arrive at the course by 7:30 a.m. Once again, routine is key. Blake Redmond will be first to tee off for Tech, from the first tee at 8:50 a.m. His teammates will follow every 10 minutes thereafter. Tech is grouped with Memphis and Northwestern.
Before we go, we’d like to wish the Tech baseball team good luck in their series at UNC, beginning Thursday and the softball team the best of luck at the NCAA Regional in Knoxville against UAB, which begins Friday. Let’s hope this is a great weekend for all the Hokies.
Well, the Hokies are done with their practice round and have had a bite to eat. They are now on the practice range, before heading back to the hotel to shower. Then, its back here to the Club at Old Stone for the Tournament Dinner before turning in for the evening.
Now might be a good time to discuss the team’s practice round routine. Each team handles practice rounds differently. Some turn it into a relaxing walk through the course to get familiar with the surroundings. Others play it almost exactly like a round of golf. Head coach Jay Hardwick and associate head coach Brian Sharp use the practice round as another teaching experience, while working within the rules and confines of NCAA guidelines.
On every hole, there is instruction. Coaches help the players with angles and yardage. They discuss where to hit the ball and, more importantly, where not to hit the ball. Players take notes in their yardage books on details of each hole and will use these notes during the next three days. Having never seen this course before, Wednesday is just as important as the three competition days.
Following an after-dinner team meeting where more information is given, the Hokies will be as prepared as any team here to battle this extremely tough course. Nothing is left to chance. This philosophy and style of coaching has served Hardwick, Sharp and the Hokies well for a long time. If something works, you stick with it.
I apologize for no video today. I shot a nice three-minute piece with Coach Hardwick, but the camera’s autofocus was not working. We’ll try something different tomorrow. Might even have to pull out the iPad and see if that will work. I also expect to have another photo gallery tomorrow.
Check back later, as I will post some information after the meeting about tomorrow. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. I hope to use Twitter more beginning tomorrow to update those who do not have access to the live stats. Remember that live stats are available on a link on this blog page.
Well, I’m back in the media room after walking the front nine with the Hokies. I’m tired, but the Hokies aren’t. I’ll catch them as they finish up.
What a beee-U-T-full day in Kentucky. Warm temperatures, but not too humid, plus a nice breeze. The only trouble walking was the big hill between No. 1 and No. 2 (luckily, downhill) and the same hill between No. 7 and No. 8 (not so lucky, steep uphill). But, enough about me.
Met up with a couple from Bowling Green, Tommy and Jennifer Jones, who live here at Olde Stone. Tommy is originally from Emporia, Virginia and his father (a Virginia Tech grad) lives in Pearisburg. He also has siblings who graduated from Virginia Tech. We always seem to meet up with Hokies everywhere we go. Very nice people and we thank them for coming out and supporting the Hokies.
One additional golf note from elsewhere, as Hokie signee Maclain Huge shot a bogey-free 69 yesterday at the Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville, Md., in local qualifying for the U.S. Open. He will advance to sectional qualifying. Huge will play in the Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament at the Roanoke Country Club this weekend. The Robertson is one of the premier junior golf tournaments in the nation.
I hope to have a photo gallery posted within the next hour or so. And I will interview Coach Hardwick following the practice round and upload it to hokiesports.com.
Just checking in before we get started this morning. The team is out on the practice range getting ready for their 8:40 a.m. practice round. Once the team gets to the course, Coach Hardwick sticks to a very precise and time-tested schedule. Even though this is the day of practice rounds, Tech is in full tournament mode.
The light layer of fog that was around in the early morning hours has burned off and the weather seems to be ideal.
Check back in later for a photo gallery and maybe an interview or two.
Sorry it has taken so long to update the blog, but a lot of golf and a little traveling got in the way. Along with some dinner.
First, another tip of the cap and a thank you to Todd Heifner, the General Manager and COO of the Golf Club of Tennessee for arranging a practice round for the Hokies today at that magnificent facility. Along with everything else, Todd is also a member of the PGA of America, as is Jay Hardwick. Jay reached out to his fellow PGA member and soon Tech had access to a tough challenge in order to prepare for the regional.
After the round, it was time for the short trip into Kentucky. Nashville is a big city and we experienced a little big city traffic. Before checking into the hotel, the Hokies went directly to the Club at Olde Stone to register. First impressions are: WOW! With a course described as one of the toughest ever to host a regional, the clubhouse may be even more impressive. While the coaches registered, the team took a moment to get a look of the first and 10th tees and ninth and 18th greens.
After checking in at the Holiday Inn, the team went down the road for dinner at Smokey Bones Grill and then off to a local store to stock up on essentials needed for the week ahead. Then it was back to the hotel for a team meeting and lights out. Wednesday will start early, as the team will be headed to the course by 7:15 a.m. The practice round begins at 8:40 a.m., thus starting the NCAA experience for the Hokies.
For those looking for more information on the Virginia Tech golf team, go to:
This is the golf team’s fan page and contains a wide array of information and news.
The hope is for two or more blog updates tomorrow, along with some photos and perhaps a video. Also, I will be tweeting from the course, as well.
After a day of just practice due to weather conditions, the Hokies will be back on the course on Tuesday. The team got up and headed out to the Golf Club of Tennessee for a 10 a.m. practice round. By 9:15 a.m., the Hokies were warming up on the range, the same thing the local weather was doing, as temperature are expected in the 80s the rest of this week.
Located about 20 miles west of Nashville, the Golf Club of Tennessee is a beautiful club in the rolling foothills. The Tom Fazio-designed course is considered one of the three best courses in Tennessee. Fazio has designed such notable courses as Karsten Creek at Oklahoma State, Pinehurst No. 4 and No. 8, Independence in Midlothian, Va., Finley Golf Course at UNC and Wade Hampton, in Cashiers, N.C.
The Hokies will be joined in practice rounds here today by fellow South Central Regional competitors Memphis and Chattanooga. After the round, the Hokies will grab a quick lunch and then head up the interstate to Bowling Green, Ky. We’ll check in from there later today.
Also, remember to check this page on hokiesports.com. Webmaster Damian Salas has once again put all of the information and links needed on just one site. From local weather, to a leaderboard, along with all the blogs, photos and videos, this is your one stop for NCAA Golf information. Thanks Damian.
After the mid-day practice, it was back on the road. About 3:45 p.m. CDT, the Hokies made it to the hotel in Nashville and the end of travel on Day One. The team and staff had a great dinner at a local restaurant and are now back at the hotel to rest up for Tuesday.
Though Nashville is a city known for its nightlife and country music, there will be none of that for this group of Hokies. Head coach Jay Hardwick had a quick meeting with the team once they returned to dinner and went through tomorrow’s schedule and also to remind the team that tonight is a great night to get some rest and prepare for the week ahead.
Golf regionals always come at an interesting time of the year. Classes are over and graduation has taken place. Without school work, the team has plenty of time to focus on golf.
The team will rise early and head off to the Golf Club of Tennessee for a morning practice round on the Tom Fazio-designed course. After lunch, the team will head up the road to Bowling Green, Ky., and get registered for the regional. Wednesday will bring the practice round and tournament dinner. The competition begins on Thursday.
We’ll check back in from the GCOT tomorrow and then again from Bowling Green, so keep checking in. So, until tomorrow, have a great night.
Well, it’s the middle of May, so that means it must be time for another Virginia Tech golf blog. The Hokies left bright and early this morning heading to the South Central Regional in Bowling Green, Ky. Well, bright might not be the best word.
The team was supposed to stop and play golf at a course in Knoxville on the way to Kentucky, but with the heavy rains in the area, that became impossible. So, with a few phone calls, the team was able to stop at Fairways and Greens Golf Center, an outstanding facility that features a covered hitting area and an indoor practice green. The team is in the middle of a practice session now, before we head out to Nashville. A big Hokie Thank You to the folks here, who went out of their way on short notice to accommodate the team.
The team will spend the night in Nashville, before playing at a local course there before heading up the road to Bowling Green Tuesday afternoon.
We are expecting to run out of the rain on the other side of Knoxville and hope for better conditions from here on out. The forecast for Bowling Green calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s at the end of the week.
Remember to check back with hokiesports.com for more from the golf week, including photo galleries and video of the players and coaches. Also, follow us on Twitter @VT_MGolf.