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The Season: Ole Miss Men’s Golf – Hawaii (2018)

The Season: Ole Miss Men’s Golf – Hawaii (2018)


[MUSIC] In the recent past Ole Miss Men’s Golf has experienced an unprecedented amount of success highlighted by Braden Thornberry’s National Championship run. Braden Thornberry, with the lead, his birdie and he pours it in in style and there is your 2017 Men’s Individual Champion Braden Thornberry of Ole Miss. The championship has taken the program to all new levels and expectations are as high as they’ve ever been. With a veteran team led by three experienced seniors, the Rebel look to continue their victorious ways on the islands of Hawaii, battling a tough field in the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational. Tell me something about Braden Coach, and what he means to our program? He’s so humble, I mean he’s meant, you guys it’s easy to see what he’s meant for us on the course, that part’s easy. What he has done for our program off of the golf course, DK is – I mean, it’s immeasurable; right. And it’s a bigger contribution, he’s had a bigger effect off the golf course representing our university as he has, you know, on the course. And that says it all really. One of our elite players to say the least. Y’all give it up for Braden Thornberry. [Applause] Out Olive Branch the Soda Central. Tell us about your game. Where do you think you are right now? What do you want to do as you go down this senior stretch home? Yeah, like I’ve – you know, I’ve said on this show before when we’ve talked in the past, kind of this season is about, you know, my game was, you know, very good my sophomore and junior year, but it wasn’t about getting my golf game necessarily better. Like, you want to do that obviously, but you know getting some consistency in my game and just maturity on and off the course. That’s kind of my main focus been this year. As I mentioned, The Rebels are currently in a little bit of a break and they’ll be traveling to Hawaii for the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational, October 28th through the 30th. Are you ready to go? Absolutely, it’s Hawaii. I’m always ready to go. Men’s golf, one of the top programs in the country right here. So honored to have them tonight. We’ll have some closing thoughts when we come back on Reb Talk. [MUSIC] While the older Rebels have made the trip before, other members of the squad are anxious for their first experience in the islands. It’s my first time. It is also my first time. The team’s gone the past couple years, but we didn’t make it last year. So, first time for us too. This will be my fourth year and we usually rent a house out there and, you know, have it all to ourselves, so that’s pretty cool. But anytime you get to go, you know, out of the continental 48, I guess it’s in the country, but anytime you get to go to a place like that it’s really special. Yeah, I mean it’s Hawaii so it can’t be too bad. You know, and I’m a big sushi fan, I heard the sushi’s really good, so I’m looking forward to that. Although the thought of fresh Hawaiian cuisine is enticing, packing a bag for a tournament like this is a daunting task and leaves plenty of opportunity to forget the correct apparel. Who’s definitely the most likely on the team to forget an item going in on a trip like this? Jackson Suber, no doubt. We have some people on the team I would think might forget some stuff, but I don’t think they’re going this week. So I think our starters are pretty good. So I’ll be surprised if anybody forgets anything. Well, your golf clubs. Oh you mean, like physically forget? Yeah. Yeah, I mean your golf clubs. Um, I don’t know, I can’t forget my swim shorts, I’m going to need those. Any clothes that we’re wearing in the tournament. Yeah, but like realistically forget, just like a certain shirt or a belt, or a hat, umbrella, I forgot an umbrella last year it wasn’t good. Definitely golf balls, because I’ll need those out there. Can’t’ forget the white hats when going to Hawaii. [MUSIC] Hey guys, we’re in Hawaii. We flew in last night. We’re here this morning at the golf course about to play our first practice round. The course is really good; it looks in pretty good shape. There’s some mountains over here, the weather’s beautiful, about 80 degrees, sunny, we’re ready to go. You know the way golf is, you’re out there for – I don’t know, practice round you’re probably out there for five and a half hours, you can’t be business just the whole time or you’re just going to wear yourself out. That was funny. What an awful shot, it’s in the fairway. Hope I don’t hit it fat. Yay. Can you hear me? I need to talk into it? [Laughter] You think if you just caught one of those chickens and just like someone cooked it up and ate would it taste the same? [Laughter] Something about this one. It’s all in how you recover and turn into five, even a six, who cares? You know, I mean – Yeah. The risk, it didn’t work out. You know that back pen, you got to play to the center of this green. The second that you sit there and move that target a little bit further right, now you’re reaching and you’re getting to hit this shot again, it’s the only place that you cannot play from, that’s how you do not win and put yourself in a position to win this golf tournament. You can aim it over that way, and hit any golf shot that you want to and you’re going to have a shot at bird. You know, when you have a freshman out there that, you know, he doesn’t even know where to aim on the first hole, it’s kind of you know, taking them under your wing a little bit and like making sure, you know, our younger guys are prepared the same way. Don’t shoot it that far right. It’s impossible. Impossible. Yeah, I’d hit this putt, this is a very common spot for (inaudible). Oh. Birdie, birdie start, I’m quitting. There’s no reason that you need to be a hero and make a falcon every single time. Right? Yeah. We don’t have to, that’s not – that’s not the key to playing this hole the best, and picking this thing apart. We work really hard in the practice rounds and probably stress them a little more than most teams do. But, it’s awesome for when we get in the tournament and we can just relax and go play golf. With the practice round complete and the work done for the day, the Rebs would take a page from the Hawaiian playbook and hang loose. We talked beforehand before we went out there, Zip and Dip was the thing to do on the zip line tour. Basically we went through I think there was eight lines of zip line and took about two or three hours to get through those lines. I thought that I could, you know, like run it out the best like the pros do. So, I said something to Coach Malloy, we had a contest. So, we got the committee, all the team went out there to judge our best landings. Our new friends. So we’re going to see who get the best. Seven out of ten. Negative eight. It was cool this time, we got to like hike down a trail and there was like a little pool of water we were all jumping off, having fun so it was just – I mean, awesome time to relax and just see tremendous views. The Zip and Dip, swimming was fun. Our team in pretty normal fashion was all like playing around with the inner tubes, trying to see if Braden could jump through the middle of an inner tube, that was also fun. Like a glove, like a glove. Like a glove. So we could zip line there before, but it’s one of those things that like, even if you had done it before you get there again and it’s still just as incredible. That was pretty cool. I’m winning, I’m winning, I’m winning. Come on, come on, get you some, get you some. Let’s go. No good, no good, no, no, no. Had a lot of fun. I won against Cecil obviously the race at the end. He’s a little burnt up about it, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. Get back out and see you all at the course tomorrow. The morning rain would not dampen the Rebels spirts on the opening day of the tournament. Senior Josh Seiple and his push cart would see to that. I’m going to get a video of Josh pushing his cart. A little four-wheel action today. I mean this is only for short people, but it works. You run out of jokes at some point. I mean, we’ve gone over it years and years. Reserved, Ole Miss. Old Man Jenkins over there. It’s always funny, I’m never – I’m not a push cart guy and I always kind of make fun of people for using push carts, but you know – Like push cart, that’s fine. Yeah, look at that a little tee holder. Oh yeah, these guys they’re a fun bunch to be around, you know, there’s never a dull moment with this group. A lot of extra features. I mean, I played great the first round, so I guess it worked sometimes, but I don’t exactly like the look of it too much. Despite the appearance of his pushcart, Seiple would lead the tournament, firing a field low of 65. Fellow senior Beau Briggs would be right behind him with a 66. Honestly, my first nine holes about everything went well, hit it great, made a lot of putts, I shot 29 I think on that side. So, not too much went wrong there. Mmm hmm, nice. Putt there Joshua. I don’t care where you shoot – where you play and or what golf course, but 65, 66 anywhere is a good golf score. Makai Course is a golf course where it just takes a little bit of momentum and you can, you know, string four or five birdies in a row together and you really get it going. There was never a point where I thought in my head like, ah I can get this to 66 if I, you know, make a few more birdies or anything, I was just playing golf and trying to enjoy it. We’ve won on that golf course, you know, won that tournament before. So, there’s that experience that we’ve spoke about coming out and then leading the way. Even though we may not have had our best stuff overall as a team, you know, those seniors really making a statement and showing they belong. The impact of senior leadership cannot be understated. This year’s class is no different, providing the team with veteran leadership. Me and Braden came in here together and lived in the dorms and then Josh had redshirted. It’s been awesome just growing with them. And now the last two years being the older guys and the leaders and they’re two awesome dudes. Those have kind of always been my go to guys kind of on the team because, you know, you have a special bond with people that are your age. Well, I think anybody will tell you in any sport, you know, whether it’s basketball, you know football, you don’t really know what to expect from your freshmen but it really comes down to your senior leadership. And they’re all great people and you know, great friends and good role models. It comes from a culture of accountability. You know, and guys that are doing the right things on a daily basis. I don’t have to worry about them nearly the way I did as a freshman. But what I will tell you is, not everyone progresses like that. Each person’s a little different, you know, that we have three great seniors, they’re all great leaders in their different ways. You know, Braden – Braden’s Braden and the on course stuff is very easy to see. His resume is very big. But off the golf course and just being a team guy, what he’s brought to our program, even notoriety has been a very big influence on what we’ve done. Josh, our old man on the team, you know he’s in his fifth year. He’s been great and if you look at his consistency, I think that’s probably the word that jumps out. He’s one of the leaders on campus and in the locker room and I think he’s one to establish, you know, kind of establishes his role, you know, as a fifth year senior. You want to be good at everything, you don’t want to kind of have to anything. Right? The great ones want to be good at everything and Beau is a good example of that. You know, he’s stellar in the classroom, you know, his golf is getting better and better. And I think there’s a direct correlation there. He prepares, and the guy’s a winner on and off the golf course. He’s gotten off to a great start his senior season on the golf course, but – and he’s been a stud and rock solid academically from day one for us. We get 20 hours a week with these guys and for them to kind of, you know, to take sail at a high level, you know, they’re putting in more than 20 hours a week out here. You know, plus their academics so it’s pretty, pretty cool to see there, you know, four years into this program, you know, kind of how far they’ve come. Though the seniors have shown their light on and off the course, the sun would not be shining on the second round of play. When we were going into the golf course, that’s a given, I mean it’s going to rain, rain at some point. You know a day like that what makes it so difficult is that it, you know, it’s raining from the first tee all the way to when you finish. And we let the conditions get to us a little bit. As I mentioned to our guys, conditions weren’t just tough for us, they were tough for everybody. [MUSIC] Though in Hawaii, the conditions may change frequently. Coach Kyle Ellis would remain unwavered. Coach Ellis is just a good presence, he’s relaxing, he’s always joking around. Want to take some Hawaii back home with you? Cecil was out at 75, so. That’s a 67, walk doesn’t fit. I’ll be at 72. You in meters, yards? When he comes around especially after you’ve made a bogey or two and you’re like maybe a little bit frustrated, he’s really good about just being like, don’t worry about it, it’s fine. You’re going to make this for birdie. That’s true. I’m not worried. You know, if you’re going through a tough stretch, I mean, they’ll be encouraging to be like, it’s alright, like you’re good. Just go get the ball on the green, roll it in there like you did yesterday. I think he’s been great just as have almost, you know, like a friend as a coach. And keeping us all with what we need and you know, really keeping us where we need to be there. Despite the woes of the second round, The Rebels were eager to get back to work for the third round of play. Bouncing back, especially in college golf, like the third round is important and I think as a team over the years we’ve always been a great third round teams in closing things out. I think we handled the conditions a little bit better. You know and the conditions were still a little bit tough at times during that final round. But I was really happy to see our guys respond and handle this – some of those same situations they saw the day before, we handled a lot better in that final round. I definitely think not just like laying down and quitting is huge and I think our team’s pretty good at that. You know, we kind of always say, final round Rebs and we’ve, you know, had really, really good success in final rounds over kind of my time here the last couple years. Braden, he’s kind of been, you know, he’s kind of been the guy. You know? You know he was having an off week that week and our other two seniors picked everybody up and put them on their back and, you know for the future. And you know so it was cool to see, you know, they didn’t shy away from the moment and you know they handled it with class. No matter what to me that was the last time I was going to be in Hawaii, you know, playing that golf course that, you know, I’ve had success on and I’ve really enjoyed playing it. Essentially every tournament you go to that’s the last time you’re going to play that course, probably. I mean, you might go back and play it later in life just for fun, but not really in the same way or not as a team. So, I’ve kind of had that thought, you know, all throughout the semester and especially now. As a coach a lot of times you have to remind them, hey, enjoy this. Hey, look around you’re in a place like Hawaii, or you go to Cabo, hey bud, I know you just made a double bogey, I know you just lost a ball; look around, look at this view, it’s pretty good and something a lot of people are not fortunate enough to get to do. And a lot of other sports don’t get to do. While the seniors have gotten to go places others haven’t, they haven’t done so without thankfulness. You know, it’s a privilege and honestly I think all three of these guys realize that and they get it which is nice. I find it very hard to believe I’m going to end up back in the same island of Hawaii again playing that course. So, it’s just one of those things where I just told myself, just enjoy it. It’s kind of looking around and, you know, hugging them a little bit and putting your hand on their back and going, enjoy this, this is cool, this is something that you don’t know the next time you’re going to get to be in Hawaii and play a spectacular course like that. Pretty cool, the last time you’ll ever play this hole you laid up. Not exactly what I had in mind. I wanted a falcon. I mean, it feels like yesterday I was playing that hole as a freshman, so it’s really weird to think how time files and everything. Final rounds is really enjoyable because there’s no setting yourself up anymore, it’s you know, however you play that’s where you’re finishing. So that’s kind of a cool feeling. My experience at Ole Miss has been tremendous and I’m extremely grateful I got to go here. So, it’s awesome looking back at all of it and I’m excited to close out this spring with the team. Most people don’t even get a chance to go to Hawaii, or you know, I never thought that that would have been a possibility like it was never in my head and, you know, you get here and you realize our schedule takes us to some places that you know, we’re just lucky to be there and take in all the scenery and it’s just a privilege that we’re all very grateful to have for sure. Getting to the Queens Bath was kind of a nightmare this year. The path is – it’s really slick, a lot of roots and obstacles you have to climb to get down there. You could hurt yourself getting down there, they’re just so rutted out, you had to, you know, take big steps and the footprints with the water in them and you know all that kind of stuff. But once you get down there it’s awesome and you know, you have a lot of fun. It’s kind of just like a natural little pool. Like, the waves kind of crash over the rocks, there’s a little like 12-foot high little jump you can jump into this pool. It’s one of those places in Hawaii where like, you really sit there and understand like, you’re on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in person and I mean, it looks fake honestly. It’s awesome to just relax and honestly not really have to think about school or golf and we don’t get to do that very much, you always kind of have the hectic schedule so it’s awesome going especially a place like there and just relax, hangout.

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