The last time we saw our heroes, the golf Rebs were in Palo Alto for the NCAA Regional. Some late season injuries forced the team to rely heavily on its young cast of freshmen, and the pledges did not disappoint. Jackson Suber, Jack Gnam, and Sarut Vongchaisit showed up to proverbially show out, posting strong scores throughout to put the team on the cusp of qualifying for an NCAA Championship birth…then…some things happened that will not be mentioned here or spoken of again. Mother Nature is a whore and she made men out of our boys that day.
But onward and upward to new and exciting things. The team that was inexperienced is now grizzled and battle tested, leather faced and forged through adversity. The season looks bright for the crew and it starts this weekend in Cheese Land.
This Week’s Tournament: The Badger Invitational, hosted by University of Wisconsin
When: Sept. 8-20
Where: Madison, Wisc.
Golfweek Rankings: Unranked in preseason
The Course: University Ridge Golf Course, Verona, Wisconsin. A Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design and the home of the Wisconsin Badgers. It hosted a Champions Tour event from 2016 to 2018. It may also be the only course that can brag that it gets year round play because of the off-season cross country skiing program it has on the course during the winter months. Rough is likely made of cheese.
Cecil Wegener (Junior, Jackson, Miss.): Once the baby-faced member of the team, the questionably mustachioed “Lil Precious” is now the elder statesman and team leader. Won his first career college tournament last year, finishing with a rain-shortened score of -6 at the Intercollegiate at The Grove in Nashville. Also finished 26th in the Sunnehanna Amateur in Pennsylvania over the summer.
Jackson Suber (Soph., Tampa, Fla.): Had a breakout freshmen season. Named to the SEC All-Freshmen team. Won SEC Freshmen of the week twice in 2019. Finished 26th in the Trans-Mississippi Amateur and 52nd in the Western Amateur this summer.
Charlie Miller (Redshirt Soph., Jackson, Miss.): Played sporadically in 2019. Best finish was a 19th placement in the Intercollegiate at The Grove. Broke out over the summer, winning the Cotton States Invitational in Monroe, La. Beat Alabama golfer Simms Abney in the finals to take the crown. Also finished 4th in the Mississippi Amateur and 9th in the Southeastern Amateur.
Jack Gnam (Soph., Ridgeland, Miss.): Another freshmen who stepped up in a major way in his first season. Finished 16th in the SEC Championship at Sea Island. Placed 17th at the NCAA Regional. Had a quality summer, placing 12th in the Mississippi Amateur, 9th in the Magnolia Amateur, and making it to a playoff in the US Amateur, resulting in a 62nd place finish.
Sarut Vongchaisit (Soph., Bangkok, Thailand): Came on super strong at the end of his Freshmen campaign. Two-time SEC Freshmen of the Week. Finished T-21 at the NCAA Regional at Stanford. Placed 8th at the Golden Isles Invitational in St. Simons over the summer. Hates birds.
Brett Schell (Freshmen, St. Augustine, Fla.): 2019 National Senior Boys Golfer of the Year. All-conference all four years of high school. Runner-up in FHSAA State Championship in 2018. Runner-up at the Florida Azalea Amateur. Finished 14th at the AJGA Junior and the Arnold Palmer Invitational Junior. Parents played football and Volleyball at Cincinnati. Sister plays soccer at Auburn. ATHLETE.
Veeti Mähönen (Freshmen, Kirkkonummi, Finalnd): On the Finnish team that won the European Amateur Team Championship in 2018. 2017 Finnish Junior Amateur Champ. Runner-up at the 2019 Finnish National Stroke Play Championship. Already has amazing Ole Miss frat hair.
Matt Bortis (Assistant Coach): Coach Malloy needed a replacement for Assistant Kyle Ellis, who left the program at the end of last season, and lets just say he came strong with a fill in. Matt Bortis comes to Oxford after serving as an assistant for the national champion Stanford program in 2018-2019. Bortis played collegiately at Arkansas and then transferred to Texas for his senior season, finishing as a Ping All-American honorable mention. Before coaching, Bortis was a platoon commander in the Marines and well, just read some of those military accolades, because, geez, man. Best of luck to the team this year as they will likely be able to storm hostile countries and then shoot under par on their best golf courses by season’s end.
The Field: Notre Dame, Abilene Christian, Coastal Carolina, No. 25 Iowa State, Illinois State, No. 28 Kansas, Nevada, Miami, Northern Illinois, Rutgers, Ole Miss, South Dakota State, UNCG, Xavier, Wisconsin and Wofford
Top individuals who are playing for second: Tripp Kinney – Iowa State, Zack Taylor – Coastal Carolina, Lachlan Barker – Iowa State, Harry Hillier – Kansas, Joey Vrzich – Nevada, Jordan Hahn - Wisconsin
If you want to follow the action: No Golfstat this week so Ole Miss Men’s Golf Twitter is your go to.
Next Tournament: September 16th-17th, Windon Memorial, Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, Ill.. Hosted by Northwestern, so you get to hear about how great their journalism and business schools are as you are trying to make a 3 foot come backer.