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BLOG - Sixth Down

Hello Newberry College Golf Fans!!  It's been a while since last I checked in, I believe last time we "talked" I was recovering from exhaustion brought on by moving.  Well, a couple of months has passed, but, a couple of weeks ago I laid sod for our new short game facility and I experienced a whole new level of ache!  But the pain is worth the gain--our short game facility looks phenomenal!  Mr. Lloyd Brigman, a special shout out to you.  You went above and beyond what could have been reasonably expected or asked-- THANKS SO MUCH!!

Folks, I finished my 6th year here at Newberry.  I was told that as I got older the years would go by faster and faster; that's dang right!  It seems like last week our 2009-10 season got started and here I am giving a yearly recap.  Unbelievable!!  Well, no more delay, let's talk about the last 9 months:  in 2009-10 we rewrote the NC Golf record book.  We set records for individual and team 18 hole, 36 hole, 54 hole, and season team stroke average.  Daniel Stanley, a junior from Spartanburg, had the best season of any golfer in Newberry history.  All of the aforementioned individual school records are his or he shares with someone!  He shot 66 to tie the individual low 18, he shot 66-69 to set the new 36 hole record, and he shot 69-68-70(-9) to set the new 54 hole record.  He also won his first 2 college tournaments, the Bearcat Golf Classic hosted by Lander University, and he won the SAC Conference Championship.  Daniel was named to the All-SAC 1st team for the 2nd year in a row and we should find out very shortly about All-Southeast Region and All-America honors.  Our teams new records include:  273(15 under) as our 18 hole score, 551(278-273, 25 under) as our new 36 hole score, and 844(279-284-281, 20 under) is our new 54 hole score.  Combined, those scores add up to 45 under par for 108 holes!!  Holy moly.  It's no surprise then that our 2009-10 season stroke average was 293.4, 3! full shots lower than our previous record of 296.6 set in 2008-09!  Ladies and Gentlemen, as we say in the golf world:  that's golfin' your ball!!

Daniel had by far the best year of our players, but he wasn't the only one who had a great year.  Chandler Gruenemeier, a freshman from Jacksonville, also had a fantastic beginning to his college career.  Along with Daniel, Chandler was named to the All-SAC 1st team and was named the SAC's Freshman of the Year for 2009-10.  Chandler joined fellow teammates Ben Lown(2007-08) and Matt Campbell(2008-09) as SAC Frosh of the Year to give us 3 in a row--which makes it a tradition.  Chandler had a stroke average of 73.3 for 24 rounds, the most of any player this year, and had a runner-up finish to Daniel in the Bearcat Golf Classic.  Chandler's best performance of the year came at The Bearcat Golf Classic, where he lost to Daniel by one shot, shooting 71-68-69(8 under).  It will be very exciting to see what heights Chandler reaches while here at Newberry!

Matt Campbell, a sophomore from Rome, NY, really came on strong for us the last 6 weeks of the year.  Matt was a 2nd team All-SAC player, his 2nd year in a row being named to the 2nd team, but his play at the conference championship and NCAA Super Regional gave a glimpse to what we can expect to see throughout the 2010-11 year.  Matt shot 74-71-75 to finish 5th overall at the SAC Championships and was named to the All-Tournament 1st Team.  He shot 72-75-71 at the NCAA regional to tie Daniel for low Newberry individual score.  Prior to the SAC Championships, Matt shot 67-74-71 at the Lander Golf Classic to tie a couple of his personal bests here at Newberry.  I expect, as does Matt, a big year from him in 2010-11. 

Proudly, I watched Sean Collard and Brandon Burnside walk across the stage during graduation ceremonies.  I have reflected a lot on Sean and Brandon's careers and each time I do, an ear-to-ear grin comes across my face.  These 2 young men accomplished so much while here:  7 team tournament titles, including 2 SAC championships, 3 NCAA Super Regional apprearances, 1 DII Nationals appearance, 2 GCAA All-America honors(1 each), plus many more.  They have been witness and reason for so much of the success we have enjoyed since Fall 2006, I can't thank them enough.  Although I won't see them on a daily basis, I do plan on seeing them each and every year when they come back to visit their alma mater.  I know that both of them will be great examples to future players and their presence as alumni will only enhance their legend.

As the summer begins(and in 13 days so does my marriage!), so does the search for future Newberry All-Americans.  When school resumes in August, it will be a new year with new enthusiasm and new expectations.  I look at 2010-11 as being a year we can truly contend for a national championship.   We welcome in 7 new freshmen who are looking forward to including their names in our record book like Ben Lown, Daniel, Matt, and Chandler have done.  Success begats success, again, that's dang right!  So only 98 days remain until the first day of class, and thereafter, the quest begins.  Have a great summer, thanks to all of you who have supported us this year, and most of all good-bye bachelorhood!! 

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