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Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27)

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Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 21-27, 2014

Baseball
- Ole Miss went on the road and swept No. 17 Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., this past weekend for only the third time in school history, and the first time since 2002.
- The Rebels scored 39 runs on the weekend, the most in a three-game SEC series in school history. Ole Miss also tallied 49 hits and six home runs.
- Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield hit .714 for the series with eight runs scored and seven RBIs to help pace the Rebels' offense in the sweep.
- Ole Miss will host four games this week, including a Wednesday night contest with Southern Miss and a weekend series against Arkansas.

Track & Field
- The No. 11 nationally ranked Ole Miss men's team competed at the Arkansas State Red Wolves Open this past weekend, while the Rebel women split between the Drake Relays and the Red Wolves Open.
- Between the two squads, Ole Miss collected six event victories and posted some of its best results of the season.
- Freshman Jalen Miller once again burned the track in the 100 and 200 meters. He placed runner-up in both events to former Rebel and Olympian Isiah Young (running unattached). Miller equaled his personal best of 10.24 in the 100 and ran 21.02 in the 200 as the top collegiate finisher.
- Sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 209-7 that was just shy of his school record of 210-3. Loe has now placed in the top two at all five outdoor meets this year.
- On Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, freshman Mary Alex England won the Drake Relays 10,000 meters and set a school record with her time of 34:48.66. Amazingly, it was her first ever competitive race at that distance.
- Other victories for the men went to freshman Will Spiers in the 1,500 (personal-best 4:00.95), junior Robert Semien in the 110 hurdles (14.19) and the 4x400 relay (3:11.84), while Margaret Harkness claimed the women's 1,500 title in Jonesboro (4:45.77).

Men's Tennis
- Junior Nik Scholtz (Caledon, South Africa) was named the SEC Men's Tennis Player of the Year last week. Scholtz is the highest ranked player, nationally, in the SEC at No. 9. He finished the regular season 15-1 at No. 1 singles, 8-1 in the SEC.
- Scholtz became the fourth Rebel to earn the league's top honor, and the first player in program history to earn freshman of the year and player of the year honors during his career.
- The Rebels are expected to earn their 21st consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.

Women's Tennis
- Junior Julia Jones earned All-SEC Second Team honors as the league office announced the 2014 postseason awards last week. Jones (St. Petersburg, Fla.) owns a team-leading 26-10 overall record, 15-6 in dual matches and 8-5 in the SEC. She posted a 4-2 record at No. 2 singles, 11-4 at No. 3 singles. Jones also went 15-5 in doubles with freshman Zalina Khairudinova, 7-3 in the SEC.
- This marks the second time for Jones to be recognized by the league office, as she was named to the all-freshman team in 2012.
- The Rebels have had at least one member of the squad named to the all-SEC team every year of head coach Mark Beyers' career (13 years).
- The Rebels are expected to earn their sixth consecutive NCAA appearance when the selections are announced Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The announcement of the 64 teams and 16 host sites will be broadcast on NCAA.com.

Softball
- Ole Miss celebrated Senior Weekend last week against then-No. 24 LSU by recognizing two of its six seniors - RT Cantillo, Shelby Jo Fenter, Carly Hummel, Londen Ladner, Natalie Nimmo and Marina Parra - prior to each game of the three-game series.
- Ole Miss couldn't get its offense going in the series' opening two games though, and couldn't slow down the Tigers in Sunday's series finale.
- Redshirt freshman Alyssa Invergo went 3-6 with an RBI in the series vs. LSU, while Nimmo batted in three runs over the course of the three games.
- Ole Miss will close out its regular season schedule with a three-game series at No. 8 Tennessee beginning Friday at 5 p.m. CT. Game two will begin Saturday at 1 p.m., and game three is scheduled for Sunday at noon and will be televised by Fox Sports Network.

Men's Golf
- The Ole Miss men's golf team competed at the 2014 SEC Championships at St. Simmons Island, Ga., at the Sea Island Golf and Country Club.
- Junior Joe Lewis was the Rebels' top competitor, carding a three-day total of 217 and tying for 43rd place.
- As a team, Ole Miss finished in 14th with a tournament total of 875.

The Southeastern Conference on Sunday announced the format for future football scheduling that is a continuation of the existing format and adds a strength-of-schedule component that requires all schools to play an ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12 opponent on an annual basis.

Each SEC team will continue to play eight conference football games per season, to include six games against division opponents and two games against non-division opponents.  One of the non-division opponents will be a permanent annual opponent and the other non-division opponent will rotate each year. 

Under the format, Ole Miss will continue to play Vanderbilt each year including this year's SEC opener on Saturday, Sept. 6 in Nashville's LP Field. Ole Miss enjoyed much recent success as well as well as a large and rapidly growing alumni base in Nashville.

"The existing strength of the SEC was certainly a significant factor in the decision to play eight games," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  "In fact, just last year, five of our schools comprised the top five toughest schedules in the nation according to the NCAA and nine ranked in the top 20.

"A number of our schools play annual ACC opponents, and recent history shows our schools are already playing a significant number of strong non-conference opponents across the country on a home and home basis or in neutral site games."

A balanced league schedule for all teams - equal home and away conference games (four home and four away); a nine-game schedule would have resulted in some teams with five home games and others with four on an annual basis

Accommodates varying institutional non-conference scheduling philosophies

Allows for marquee neutral site games - the popularity of neutral site games has grown in recent years, as evidenced by large crowds and significant TV ratings for those games that feature major intersectional opponents

One of the non-division opponents will be a permanent annual opponent and the other non-division opponent will rotate each year.

Creates annual cross-division rivalries that otherwise would not be annual games

Provides each team with a traditional opponent for the final weekend of the season

In addition, at least one opponent from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12 must be scheduled by each SEC school on an annual basis beginning in 2016, with assistance from the conference office. 

In recent years, Ole Miss has played a home-and-home with Texas Tech (2002, 2003), Wake Forest (2006, 2008), Missouri, which was then in the Big 12 (2006, 2007), and most recently, Texas (2012, 2013).

This year, Ole Miss will face Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. While the Broncos would not meet the new requirement, the Broncos have won 10 or more games in 10 of the last 12 years.

SEC Announces Format For Future Football Schedules

Scholtz Joins Elite Group

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The Ole Miss tennis program continues it's rich tradition under head coach Billy Chadwick of producing the best player in the country's toughest conference.  Today, the SEC office announced junior and two-time All-American Nik Scholtz as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.  Scholtz becomes the fourth player for Ole Miss to earn the prestigious award and the first player in Ole Miss tennis history to be named SEC Freshman of the Year and SEC Player of the Year in his career.

Following an exceptional regular season, Scholtz continued his dominant play in the SEC Tournament going 2-0, and rising to No.9 in the national rankings as the highest ranked player in the SEC.  Scholtz boasted a 15-1 record at No. 1 singles, including 8-1 in the SEC.  The SEC currently has seven teams ranked inside the top 25 in the ITA National Rankings.

The South African native 12-time ATP Grand Slam champion Mahesh Bhupathi and three-time All-Americans Johan Hede and Catalin Gard as Rebels to be named SEC Player of the Year.  
Below is a quick look at all the Rebels' SEC Players of the Year.

SEC PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Thumbnail image for Scholtz_SECPOY.jpg2014 - Nik Scholtz
Singles Record:
8-1 SEC
Highest Singles Ranking: No. 9

Notes: Scholtz became the first player in Ole Miss tennis history to earn SEC Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year honors in his career.  With the Rebels awaiting their postseason destination, Scholtz has positioned himself nicely for a run at the NCAA Singles Championship. Scholtz led the Rebels to some huge conference wins down the stretch to secure the Rebels a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st consecutive season. 

gard_catalin041004_blog.jpg2004 - Catalin Gard
Singles Record:
10-1 SEC
Highest Singles Ranking: No.1 (24 straight weeks)

Notes: Gard led the Rebels to the overall SEC Championship and their third straight SEC West title in 2004.  A three-time All-American, he was also the 2004 ITA All-American Champion and ended his career as the second winningest player in Ole Miss history with 112 wins.

1996 - Johan Hede
Singles Record:
11-0 SEC
Highest Ranking: No. 4Clincher_1995_blog.jpg

Notes: Finishing the season as the SEC's highest ranked player, Hede won the 1996 SEC Singles Championship and was a 1996 NCAA Singles semifinalist. He was also a three-time All-America selection as well as a three-time All-SEC selection, going undefeated in conference play in 1996.  Hede qualified for the NCAA Individual Championships all four years and stands as the all-time winningest player in Ole Miss tennis history with 135 wins.

Bhupathi_Mahesh95ncaa_blog.jpg1995 - Mahesh Bhupathi
Combined Singles and Doubles Record:
15-3 SEC
Highest Ranking: No.1 in doubles, No. 3 in singles

Notes: Bhupathi became the first Rebel to be named SEC Player of the Year.  He was the 1995 SEC Singles Champion and teamed with Ali Hamadeh to win the NCAA Doubles Championship, the school's first ever NCAA title.  Bhupathi also helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Championship Final and a final national ranking of No. 3.  Bhupathi has won 12 ATP Grand Slam titles in doubles.


Chadwick'sTop Moments: No. 10

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gatoradebath.jpgMoving along chronologically, today we delve into the top 10 moments of Ole Miss men's tennis coach Billy Chadwick continuing with the 2005 season, which was one of the most exciting seasons in Ole Miss tennis history.

In 2005, the Rebels would capture their second consecutive Southeastern Conference Championship and fourth overall (1996, 1997 and 2004).  The Rebels posted a 10-1 conference record, highlighted by wins over No. 12 Kentucky, No. 20 Auburn, No. 7 Florida and No. 20 Mississippi State.  The Rebels would claim the SEC in thrilling fashion.  On the last day of the regular season, Chadwick and the Rebels marched into Starkville and clinched the SEC with a 4-3 win over their arch-rival, making it the 10th straight win over MSU for Chadwick and the Rebs.  The Rebels won the SEC West as well, bringing their record against SEC West opponents to a dominant 20-0 since the 2002 season.

The Rebels were paced by team captain Catalin Gard, who opened the season ranked No. 1 in the country, junior Juan Pablo Di Cesare, along with freshman phenoms Erling Tveit, Jakob Klaeson and Bram ten Berge.  Di Cesare won the clincher in Starkville to propel the Rebels to the SEC title.  Tveit made his presence known early and often, going 9-2 in the SEC as a freshman and earning All-SEC honors.  Klaeson and ten Berge were instrumental as a doubles tandem, posting an 18-9 overall doubles record.

Winning the rigid Southeastern Conference was just the beginning of the success that the Rebels would encounter throughout the magical 2005 season.  Tune back in on Friday as we divulge the depths in which this Rebel squad went in the postseason.

Follow the Rebels on Twitter, @OleMissMTennis and on Facebook at OleMissMTennis.

Special assistance from Media Relations student Wesley Boock.

Chadwick's Top Moments: No. 11

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halftimeum04.jpgOn this Monday we take a look at moment No. 11 of the top moments in Billy Chadwick's career.  This moment encompasses a year full of great accomplishments that Chadwick made the norm for the Ole Miss tennis program.  

In 2004, the Rebels enjoyed yet another extremely successful season.  The Rebels won the program's third overall Southeastern Conference Championship, featuring the SEC Player of the Year, Catalin Gard, and SEC Coach of the Year, Billy Chadwick.  The Rebels finished conference play with a 9-2 record, highlighted by wins over No. 15 Vanderbilt, No. 17 Georgia and No. 13 LSU, including an undefeated record against SEC West foes.  The Rebels spent four weeks throughout the season ranked ranked No. 2 in the country and finished the season ranked No. 5.

Senior Catalin Gard went 10-1 in league play at No. 1 singles, en route to becoming the third Rebel to win SEC POY honors, joining Mahesh Bhupathi (1995) and Johan Hede (1996).  Coach Chadwick earned his second SEC COY honor (1996) after guiding the Rebels to a 22-5 overall record, a Southeastern Conference title and a No. 5 final ranking.  

On Wednesday, we will break into the top 10 moments, beginning chronologically in 2005, in which Chadwick and the Rebels reached familiar and some not so familiar milestones.  Stay tuned to check them out in our list of the top 10 moments of coach Billy Chadwick.

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20)

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Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review
April 14-20, 2014

Baseball
- Ole Miss went 1-2 last week vs. No. 7 LSU, dropping a 13-inning affair in the series opener before taking game two and falling in the series finale.
- Ole Miss became the first team in the Southeastern Conference to hit the 30-win mark with a 5-1 win over No. 7 LSU on Friday night.
- Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield leads the SEC in hits with 61 on the season and leads the team in hitting at a .347 clip.
- Senior catcher Will Allen is second in the SEC in RBIs (42), while junior first baseman Sikes Orvis is second in home runs (9).
- Ole Miss will play four road games this week, including the Governor's Cup game Tuesday vs. MSU, and a three-game series at Kentucky this weekend.

Track & Field
- The No. 11 Ole Miss men had a successful week at the historic Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
- The biggest highlight came Friday when freshman Sean Tobin shattered a 29-year-old school record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:42.07. He moved up to No. 7 in the NCAA this year and is also ranked 11th nationally in the 800.
- Several other Rebel freshmen stood out in California. Robert Domanic ran a personal-best time of 14:08.78 in his first college outdoor 5,000 meters to rank fifth in school history. Jalen Miller (10.30 in the 100, 21.01 in the 200) and Kailo Moore (personal-best 21.07 in the 200) shined in the short sprints. Trevor Gilley achieved a personal best in the 1,500 (3:47.43) and moved into the top 10 in school history
- Senior Ricky Robertson won silver in the high jump with a clearance of 7-3.75. Junior Phillip Young recorded a season-best 51-9.75 in the triple jump and moved up to 10th in the NCAA this year and ninth in school history. Junior Robert Semien won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.07.
- At the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, sophomore Nathan Loe won the hammer throw with a heave of 200-9.
- The Ole Miss men and women are in action this week at the A-State Red Wolves Open (men) and the Drake Relays (women).

Men's Tennis
- The Rebels went 1-1 at the SEC Tournament, knocking off No. 18 Tennessee 4-2 in the second round before falling to No. 11 Kentucky in a close 4-2 match in the quarterfinals.
- Stefan Lindmark clinched the win over Tennessee for his second consecutive clinch against an SEC opponent. He defeated Jarryd Chaplin 6-0 in the third set at No. 3 singles to clinch the Rebels' fifth straight against the Volunteers. Lindmark also teamed up with William Kallberg to upset the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the nation to clinch the doubles point. The Swedish duo handed the Vol tandem just their second SEC loss since 2012.
- Nik Scholtz won both his singles matches to improve to 15-1 at No. 1 singles, including a win over Kentucky's Tom Jomby, ranked No. 11, for the second time this year. It marked Scholtz' fourth top-12 win of the season. His win over No. 27 ranked Hunter Reese gave the Rebels a 3-2 lead and set up Lindmark's clinching victory against Tennessee.
- Johan Backstrom and Joe Rogers improved to 9-3 overall and 7-3 at No. 3 doubles with a huge win against Tennessee. For the second straight SEC match, the duo faced match points but rallied to win 8-7(7) to set up their teammates' clinching win at No. 1 doubles.

Women's Tennis
- The Rebels (13-9) dropped their opening match in the SEC Tournament second round to South Carolina, 4-2.
- Junior Julia Jones won her match in straight sets to improve to 26-10 overall, 15-6 in dual matches.  
- Junior Erin Stephens earned her 10th straight victory.

Men's Golf
- The Ole Miss men's golf team hosted the Reunion Intercollegiate at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss.
- Junior Blake Morris finished with a two-round score of even-par 144 and claimed second-place. This marked Morris' fourth top-five finish of the season.
- Morris helped lead Ole Miss to a fourth-place finish as a team, which marked the second-straight tournament the Rebels have posted a top-five finish.
- The Rebels will be back in action April 25-27 at the SEC Championships in Sea Island, Ga.

Women's Golf
- The Ole Miss women's golf team closed out action at the SEC Championships on Sunday in 14th-place with a three-day score of 925 (313-305-307-925). Abby Newton and Alison Hovatter led the Rebels with scores of 228 and 230, respectively. Ole Miss will now wait to see if it is selected for the NCAA Regionals on May 5.

Softball
- Ole Miss went 2-3 last week, cruising in a home doubleheader against Alcorn State before dropping three games at No. 13 Missouri.
- The Rebels were red-hot Tuesday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex as they emphatically beat Alcorn State 18-5 (5) and 13-1 (5), respectively.
- Behind a season-high 18 hits, Ole Miss scored a season-high 18 runs and cruised in game one of the doubleheader. The Rebels' 18 runs scored were their highest total since scoring 22 runs Feb. 13, 2008. The Rebels scored in each of the eight innings it came up to bat in the two games combined, and of the 15 outs they recorded in game two Tuesday, 11 came by way of strikeout.
- After taking a one-run lead in the top of the seventh of the series opener Friday at Missouri, Ole Miss lost 5-3 on a walk-off three-run home run. The Rebels then fell 2-0 in game two of the doubleheader despite allowing just four hits against the Tigers, which entered the series with the second most hits in the SEC. Ole Miss couldn't get its bats going Saturday and dropped the series finale at Missouri 9-1 (6).
- The Rebels open a three-game home series Friday vs. LSU. Ole Miss will recognize its six seniors in the series with two seniors honored prior to the start of each game.

Earlier this baseball season, Ole Miss tied a game on a dropped fly ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, which was a case of deja vu for Ole Miss fan Curtis Wilkie, who remembered the same thing happening in a game seven years earlier.

What helped him remember? He always keeps score at baseball games, whether it is the major leagues or Ole Miss, as he shows scorecards piled up in his office in Farley Hall on campus.

"I remember and other people there remembered a previous game, and I was pretty sure it was a Friday night game against Georgia, but I couldn't remember which year," Wilkie said. "I got the media guide and looked up previous series we played against Georgia and found it immediately. I remembered we won the game, so I was able to pull the scorebook for that year out and flip to it, and it was right there. It's fun to be able to do that."

Every fan that keeps a scorebook has a story. 

Wilkie has been keeping score since he was 10, and by the time he was in the sixth or seventh grade he was the official scorekeeper for Summit High School in Summit, Miss.

"It's something not a lot of people do, but I have found it as a good way to keep up with the game," Wilkie said. "If I go to major league games, I will generally buy a scorecard and keep score. Since I was in high school, I don't think I have done it as systematically as I do now with the Ole Miss team. I keep score of every game I go to and I have my own scorebook that I make."

Another resident scorekeeper is Juanita Skinner, originally from Baldwyn, Miss., who now lives in Oxford. She went to Ole Miss in the late '50's and early '60's, and then started keeping score for the junior high baseball team when she was a teacher and counselor for 39-plus years at Colonial Junior High and Overton High School in Memphis.

"Up here, I was keeping it just on a plain piece of paper, and Coach Bianco's father, Ron, sat at the table and we all talked, and he said, 'You need a real scorebook,' " Skinner said. "He was the one that got me back keeping the score in an official scorebook about three years ago. I did it because I concentrated on the game. Not everybody is here for the ball game; a lot of people are here to socialize. As long as I'm keeping score, I'm concentrating on the ball game, and that's why I got started doing it."

Behind home plate, there is a scattering of fans keeping score. There's David Robinson, who's been an Ole Miss baseball season-ticket holder since Pat Harrison was coach in the late '90's. 

Like so many others, it helps him stay focused on the game. When he sees the batter step to the plate, he know what they did in their previous at-bats, and he keeps a pitch count, so he can tell when the pitcher is going to start tiring out. However, he had a rather unique start to his scorekeeping.

"The honest truth is I wound up coaching my son's little league teams, and I would bring the book here and keep the book here to teach myself how to keep up with keeping a book for his game," Robinson said. "A college baseball game can last four hours, but if you're keeping a scorebook, it feels like it was only an hour and a half."

A couple of rows up from Robinson, behind home plate and right below the press box, you can find Shannon Lovejoy keeping score. Similar to Wilkie, she's been keeping a book since she was 9 when her father took her to a California Angels game and taught her how. Since then she has done it for every game she has gone to and has been coming to Ole Miss baseball games since the '80's.

"You can look at a complete scorecard and you can recreate the game," Lovejoy said. "That's pretty cool. I also watch the pitcher and keep the pitch count. I have people who text me all through the game to see what the pitch count is. The people who are season-ticket holders know I'm totally focused in on the game, so they don't engage me in a lot of conversation during a game."

And then there's Don Sheffield, who everyone calls "coach," who was a football manager at Ole Miss from 1958-62 before getting into coaching, which he did for about 10 years in northeast Mississippi. 

He remembers being asked in the summer of 1963 to coach a community baseball team of pee-wees and junior players in Dorsey, Miss., where he grew up, and he coached them to a championship, after which he went back to school to finish up his degree in physical education, so he could teach and coach.

"All during the time I was coaching, you had your own scorebook for your team, so I got accustomed to keeping score," Sheffield said. "It keeps me into the game. If I'm sitting here watching the game and I get to talking to somebody I lose what's happening in the game, but if I'm keeping score, I'm mentally into the game and I know what's happening. Another reason for doing it is I have a small Ole Miss message board, and so, if I want to make a comment about the baseball game, I want accuracy in what I say about the game."

Whether it's keeping up with the game, remembering past games or settling arguments and debating points, every fan and every scorecard has a story. You just have to find them.

Closing Time

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Ole Miss women's golf sports information director, Jessica Poole will be blogging for the women's golf team throughout the 2014 SEC Championships held at Greystone Golf Course in Birmingham, Ala.

Well we're back in Oxford and the SEC Championships are over. Kinda hard to believe that the regular season is over if you think about it, it seems like just yesterday we were hopping in the Sprinter to kick off the fall season. My first season as the Ole Miss Women's Golf contact has been filled with laughter, fun and LOTS of pictures. (Can't believe we didn't get an Instagram until the spring ... SID-fail but Coach J had my back:)

 Some lessons that I learned from the women's golf team this year ...

1. There is no such thing as too much laughter or pictures

2. Abby Newton and animal crackers go together like peas and carrots

3. Always carry your rain gear (especially if I'm on a road trip, my presence increases the likelihood of rain by at least 50 percent)

4. Running a golf tournament = LONG HOURS

5. Ole Miss women's golf is family meaning that discussions of things like bodily functions are all likely to happen and even more likely to happen during a meal

6. Golf needs walk up music ... just think about it, when you're approaching the tee and you hear "Thunderstruck" ... that would pump me up!

Speaking of walk up songs, we did talk about this over the week and we had a few good ones, although none better than Coach Drinkard's (You'll have to ask her about that!, if you can't figure it out)

Abby Newton - Thunderstruck

Alison Hovatter - The Only Way I Know

Taelor Rubin - Dust on the Bottle

Stani Schiavone - Know What You Did in the Dark

Maria Toennessen - Burn 

Coach Drinkard - A song we can't name by Elton John!

Coach Howland - Livin' on a Prayer 

Lynnette Johnson - Don't Look Back 

Josie Nicholson -Fighter 

Jess Poole - September

Well, Ole Miss women's golf, came and saw and conquered and we all had a darn good time in the process!

Until next season,

Jess Poole (Official SEC Championship Blogger of Ole Miss WGolf)

 

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