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Ole Miss golf 2018: The GAME OF THORNBERRIES rolls into the other Grove

Our friend Bunkie Perkins returns to preview the Golfsharks’ trip to Nashville.

Red Cup Rebellion remains, for yet another season, in its truest and purest of forms … as a golf blog. RCR raises its handicap to again let Bunkie Perkins under the ropes to follow the Ole Miss Golf Team during their Fall 2018 season. This feature will preview the tournaments, the courses, the Ole Miss golfers, and the field each week, and as has become canon for this review, cover in great detail the many exploits of THE BY GOD NUMBER ONE AMATEUR GOLFER IN THE ENTIRE KNOWN UNIVERSE, THE 2017 NCAA GOLFING CHAMPION AND NUMBER ONE COLLEGE GOLFER IN THE SEVEN KINGDOMS ... LORD BRADEN THORNBERRY, FROM CLUBHOUSE OXFORD, FIRST OF HIS NAME, KING OF THE 19th HOLE AND THE FIRST TEE, MAKER OF BIRDIES, THE BREAKER OF PARS, THE RULER AND PROTECTOR OF AN EXPEDITED PACE OF PLAY … LONG MAY HE DRIVE.

The last time we saw our heroes:

The Golf Rebs went on a bit of a Midwest jaunt this week to the land of cheese and rampant heart disease to take on a Big 10-heavy lineup at the Erin Hills Invitational in Milwaukee, Wisc. The event started off fine enough for the Rebs, with the team carding a +2 (290) score after Day 1. The first day team leader, Cecil “Lil Precious” Wegener, dropped a -2 (70) on the field while LORD THORNBERRY did his normal LORD THORNBERRY thing and started off the event with a steady round of -1 (71). The biggest Day 1 surprise came from Senior Josh Seiple. Seiple, playing as an individual this week, started the event with a -2 (70) of his own.

Any promise that Day 1 may have had was quickly erased by wind and sideways rain on Day 2. Really, this looks like totally fun golf weather.

Squad Rebels struggled in the conditions and their team score after Day 2 ballooned to +18. Thankfully most of the field also had a tough time in tougher conditions and the team remained in fifth place after the second day. THORNBERRY, Wegener, and freshman Jackson “Pledge” Suber all had scores of +3 (75) on the day. Even with the conditions, Josh Seiple continued his excellent play. His second round even par (72) put him in the top three on the individual leaderboard headed into the final round.

Be it a pep talk from Coach Malloy, or a good night’s sleep, or an all cheese buffet for dinner the night before (I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but I assume that’s what they eat), the Rebels came out as a completely different team on the final day. The team went on an absolute birdie siege of Erin Hills in Round 3, carding 16 birdies and 2 eagles en route to a team score of -11 (277) to close out the tournament. The round was the second lowest shot by any team all week and got the Rebels into a fourth place finish at a total of +7, behind Marquette at +4, Arizona State at -4, and Northwestern at -6.

SIR THORNBIRDIES stormed up the leaderboard on the final day with a round of -4 (68). The score got him into a tie for 5th place. It was a historic finish for OUR LORD because the top 10 placement made him the all-time program leader in top 10 finishes in a career. The entire Ole Miss golf record book might as well just be a big picture of KING TED at this point. Not to be outdone, Josh Seiple continued his unprecedented tournament play in Round 3 at Erin Hills. The Senior capped off his week with a -1 (71) to finish the tournament at -3 and solo fourth place. The finish was the best of Seiple’s career and really gives the group some hope of more backend help for the team scores heading into the spring season.

Cecil Wegener continued his stellar play of late, getting into the house at even par (72) on the final day. He finished at T-10, his first top 10 this year. After two tough opening rounds, Ridgeland Freshman Jack Gnam, who was making his first appearance as part of the five-man team, rebounded with a -2 (70) on Day 3 to complete his tournament at +9 and T-39. Rounding out the scoring for the Rebels was redshirt freshman Charlie Miller. Miller, like Gnam, had tough sledding the first two days but absolutely went off on Day 3, carding a -5 (67) on the final day, a round that included five birdies on the inward nine.

Just a really promising final round for the entire team.

Golfweek Rankings:

Team: 53*; Individual: THE COUNT OF STROKES UNDER PAR: 115*; Jackson “Pledge” Suber: 71* (*don’t pay much attention to the rankings this early on in the season).

This Week’s Tournament:

The Franklin American Mortgage Intercollegiate, October 7-9.

The Course: The Grove – Nashville, TN

The less bourbon-smelling, sun dress-infested Grove of the two. A 7,300 yard par-72 Greg Norman design that is part of some real estate/sustainable community project that might be the most Caucasian thing I’ve ever seen. Look for yourself.

The Ole Miss team:

TED PUTTER JR. (Senior, Olive Branch, Miss.): Finished T-5 at Erin Hills with a score of -3, including a final round -4 (68). The placement made him the Ole Miss career leader in top 10s, a record that had previously stood for 30 years. Looks to make it a three-peat next week at The Grove — the other Grove, mind. He won the tournament in 2016 and 2017.

Jackson Suber (Freshman, Tampa, Fla.): Not the Pledge’s best week but it’s kind of hard to complain about a true freshman ONLY finishing tied for 33rd on the week.

Charlie Miller (Redshirt Freshman, Jackson, Miss.): Shook off two rough rounds to start the week to post an absolute gem of a -5 (67) in Round 3 to help the team spring into fourth place.

Cecil Wegener (Sophomore, Jackson, Miss.): Continues a great pace this fall. Backed up to Top 25s with a Top 10 at Erin Hills.

Josh Seiple (Senior, Castle Rock, Colo.): His best tournament of his Rebel career. Rounds of 70-72-71 to finish in fourth place as an individual with a score of -3. A great week for the Senior.

Jack Gnam (Freshman, Ridgeland, Miss.): Got his first team start of his career at Erin Hills. Finished T-39 but fired a -2 (70) on the event’s final day.

The field:

Middle Tennessee, Cincinnati, No. 14 Louisville, No. 32 College of Charleston, Kennesaw State, Kentucky, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Purdue, South Dakota State (my gosh, they have a golf team?!), No. 45 South Florida.

Top individuals who are playing for second behind the LORD OF THE SEVEN PINGDOMS:

No. 8 Matthias Schmid – Louisville; No. 38 Timmy Hildebrand – Purdue; No. 43 Ryoto Furuya – USF; No. 66 Hunter Dunagan – College of Charleston.

If you want to follow the action:

Golfstat and Ole Miss Men’s Golf Twitter are your top sources.

Next tournament:

The Warrior Princeville Invitational, Makai Golf Club, Kauai, Hawaii. October 28-30. The final aloha to the fall golf season.