Jan. 18, 2013
OXFORD, Miss. – With a pair of fall tournament wins, an emerging sophomore star and a stellar team GPA, the Ole Miss men’s golf team has a lot to be excited about entering the spring season.
“I am really proud of our team with their golf and academics,” said head coach Ernest Ross. “We set a team culture that you can do well in both areas through hard work. We are taking pride in the fact that our team had the highest GPA of all men’s programs at Ole Miss this fall. Success breeds success, and hard work always pays off.”
Ole Miss finished sixth or better in all five fall tournaments, including four top-five finishes. The team is ranked 43rd in the nation by Golfstat, 45th by Golfweek and receiving votes in the Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches’ Top-25 Poll.
With wins at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate in September and the Querencia Cabo Collegiate in October, the Rebels have already posted their most tournament titles in an athletics season since notching four during the 2007-08 campaign. The team had only one tourney crown the past four seasons combined.
Leading the Rebel charge is sophomore Blake Morris, who is quickly emerging as one of the nation’s best. The Waterbury, Conn., native boasts a team-low 71.61 stroke average and registered top-five finishes in four of the five fall tournaments, placing third in three events. Golf Digest recently named Morris among the nation’s most improved players.
“Blake has worked very hard in the past year on his game,” Ross said. “He is becoming one of the top players in America and the SEC. With his desire to improve, I am sure he will continue getting better every day.”
Junior Tom Brown has also strengthened the Ole Miss lineup with a 73.23 scoring average and four top-20 finishes. Sophomore Joe Lewis and freshmen Connor Davis and Forrest Gamble have rounded out the formidable Rebel quintet.
The team’s success on the course has been topped by its outstanding performance in the classroom. The team’s fall GPA of 3.38 was the best of any Ole Miss men’s sports program, and nine of the Rebel golfers made the university’s academic honor roll.
Brown, senior Chad Bounds and freshman Forrest Gamble all made the Chancellor’s Honor Roll (3.75-4.00 GPA), while redshirt freshman Chris Ingham and freshman Noah West made the Dean’s Honor Roll (3.50-3.74).
Ole Miss opens its spring season at the John Hayt Collegiate, Feb. 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Rebels host the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate April 1-2 at Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, and fans are encouraged to make their plans to see some of the nation’s stop golfers in action.