Rebel Signee Featured On Golfweek.com

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

By RAY McCARTHY
Assistant Editor

Sean Dale had an epiphany when he shot 80-84 at last year’s Verizon Junior Heritage to finish 44th in the 46-player field. The five-hour drive from Hilton Head Island, S.C., back to Jacksonville, Fla., left plenty of time for painful introspection and self-doubt.

“Me and my dad had a conversation about if I wanted to keep (playing competitive golf). I was tired of it, I was really frustrated,” Dale said, “but right before we got home, I said, Dad, I’m going to put everything into golf, I’m going to do everything I can to get better,’ and since then, I haven’t looked back.”

Dale, now ranked 11th in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings, has torn through junior tournaments in the past four months. He’s won three consecutive FCWT events, highlighted by a birdie Jan. 6 on the famed 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass’ Players Stadium Course to win the FCWT/Golfweek Boys Invitational. In the middle of that stretch, he made it to the finals of the AJGA’s Polo Golf Junior Classic.

“Since that day (at the Junior Heritage), he and I haven’t talked about it much,” Sean’s father, Bob, said. “His work ethic has dramatically changed. He’s worked hard on his game and hard on his body.”

Todd Anderson, the director of instruction at Sea Island Golf Learning Center, has been instrumental in Dale’s drastic improvement. Dale came to Anderson with a laid-off, flat position at the top of his swing, but Anderson has improved the plane of his backswing.

“I try to get my junior students to understand that golf is important, but at the same time, they have to understand how to operate on the golf course,” Anderson said. “I thought Sean was very hard on himself, not giving himself enough credit for good golf shots, and not being able to let go of the bad shots.”

In November, Dale entered the Polo at No. 38 in Golfweek’s rankings, but felt as if he belonged among the best after making the quarterfinals at the U.S. Junior.

“Before the U.S. Junior, I looked at Peter (Uihlein) and Bud (Cauley) as top junior golfers, and I didn’t consider myself anywhere near that,” Dale said, “but after I made it to the quarterfinals, it gave me a lot of confidence, saying, I made it farther than a lot of the good juniors.’ ”

Dale squeaked by Tommy Chung Hao Mou in his first match at Polo with what he called one of his worst rounds of the tournament. He then rattled off wins over Ping Invitational champion Gregor Main in the Round of 16, and avenged his loss to Wesley Graham in the U.S. Junior by beating Golfweek’s top-ranked junior, 3 and 2, in the Polo quarterfinals.

A birdie on the 17th hole of his semifinal match with William Kropp powered Dale to a 1-up victory and a berth in the final against Bjorn Akesson, where he lost, 3 and 2.

Dale had won the FCWT’s World Golf Village Open two weeks earlier thanks to a final-hole birdie. He used the momentum from his run at Polo to win two more FCWT events. He birdied his final two holes Dec. 2 to win the Grand Cypress Classic by two strokes, then closed the Golfweek Invitational at TPC Sawgrass with a birdie to win by one.

“It feels good (winning three times in a row),” Dale said. “You just have the confidence, and you just feel like you’re going to win.”

Dale is hoping his success will carry over to his freshman season at Ole Miss this fall. He’s set a personal goal to be named SEC Freshman Player of the Year, but knows he can learn a lot from the upperclassmen and head coach Ernest Ross.

“I’m going to take as much as advice from anyone I can,” Dale said.

Dale doesn’t think his mindset will change at all as he makes the move to college golf, though.

“I don’t feel any pressure when I go on the golf course,” he said.

Pressure is nothing when you’ve climbed from the bottom.



Ray McCarthy is a Golfweek assistant editor. To reach him e-mail rmccarthy@golfweek.com.
Posted: 2/22/2008

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- April 26

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more

    • Bramlett Helps Rebels Complete DH Sweep, Clinch Series

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Baseball

      Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy to Rep Ole Miss at Charity Golf Tournament

      Friday, April 24, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football Season Tickets Promo

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Stars Wars Night Intro

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Baseball

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20, 2015)

      Monday, April 20, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more

    • Rebels Continue Push to Host in NCAA's

      Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more