Published on September 19th, 2012 | by Mace & Crown Administrator1
Men’s Golf Makes Early Move Into C-USA
The men’s golf team here at Old Dominion University is one of the few teams that have already made the move from the Colonial Athletic Association to Conference USA. “We are very excited. The golf competition in Conference USA is much stronger than in the CAA,” head coach Murray Rudisill said, “We were probably going to be the top ranked team in the CAA and now we’re probably going into the middle of the pack.”
The move into C-USA is a big change, but Rudisill has high expectations for his team. “We hope to get a national ranking in the at-large bid,” Rudisill said. Golf is a sport played in both the fall and the spring. “The spring is a little more important, but you build up your rankings in the fall,” Rudisill said.
One of Rudisill’s stand-out players is Jamison Randall, a sophomore from Rhode Island. He was in the top five on the ODU team as a freshman and proved his consistence in the first tournament of this season. Randall shot 71-67-71 to tie for medalist honors at 209 and seven under par at the Raines Development Intercollegiate in Florence, SC.
Another stand-out player Rudisill mentioned is Thomas Wilde, a senior co-captain of the team. “Tom has gotten better and better each year. Hopefully this will be a good year for him,” Rudisill said.
Freshman Ashton Newsom has made quite the impression on Rudisill. “He has already jumped into the starting line-up and he played very well down in South Carolina,” Rudisill said. Newsom qualified third to see who would go play in South Carolina.
This year the golf team has three international students, Wilde being one of them, and six from the states. It is difficult for Rudisill to recruit from overseas because he cannot go see the players in action. “I have not had the budget to go overseas and watch them play, therefore I have to recruit based on phone calls, e-mails and interviews,” Rudisill said.
If a player wants to see the university, they are only allowed to visit and not play. It is against NCAA rules to play on the campus before recruited. The coach is allowed to go see the players in action at local and national tournaments.
The golf team plays four tournaments in the fall and six in the spring, and out of all those tournaments the ODU/OBX is the one to look forward to most. “They enjoy the two tournaments during spring break, they have a lot of fun, but the one they are really looking forward to is the one in the Outer Banks,” Rudisill said. The ODU/OBX tournament is the one that ODU hosts and the team all invite their parents to come and watch. The team stays in oceanfront hotels and invites 18 teams to join in the tournament.
The golf team’s main goals for this season are, “to try to get a tournament win, and to try to build up our national ranking for the spring,” Rudisill said. With a third place finish out of 16 teams in South Carolina at the season opener, the ODU golf team is very close to accomplishing their goals already. Be sure to look out for their next tournament in Richmond at the Virginia Commonwealth University Shootout on Sept. 24 and Sept. 25.