Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rebs Head to NCAA Tourney

The staff at Worldclassglass would like to wish the Ole Miss golf team luck as they head off to the NCAA Tourney this week. Long time reader of Worldclassglass and Senior on the Ole Miss golf team,Brice Bailey will be making the trip. It has been several years since the men's golf team has made it to the NCAA Tournament and we are glad to see they are back.

Below is some information from UMAA about the tournament and an interview with Brice.

(UMAA)OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men's golf team ended a five-year postseason drought Monday, receiving its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2001. The Rebels are the No. 12 seed among 27 teams in the East Regional, which will be held at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga., May 17-19.

“We are excited to be back in the NCAA Championships,” head coach Ernest Ross said. “Two years ago we were the best ranked team not to get in, and last year we were the second best team not to make it. We’ve been heartbroken the last two years. It’s been our goal and the team’s motivation this year to play good enough that we wouldn’t be on the bubble.

“Without a doubt, our regional is the toughest one of the three. The first 11 seeds read like a who’s who in college golf. Most of the teams have played this course at tournaments over the last couple years, so they may have an advantage over us. But we have to start with some upsets somewhere, so we’ll just jump right in.”

Senior Brice Bailey

“It’s such a relief to know we are going, especially after we came so close the last two years. For me personally, it’s a lot of relief, because I played so bad in the SEC Tournament. I get another chance. I look at it as a big opportunity for me personally as well as the team.”

On the break since the last tournament and preparing for the next round
“We’ve had a little break and basically just been fine-tuning our games. You can’t make a whole lot of changes. I’ve been going at it hard the last couple of weeks trying to work on my game, to improve.”

On what’s he doing to improve his game
“I spent four hours with my teacher yesterday working on making it simple again and just having fun. Sometimes you can make golf too hard that you can get yourself in a lot of trouble before you know it. I enjoy my teammates, and I love playing golf. This is what I want to do for a living.”

On handling pressure
“If you put too much pressure on yourself, it can work against you. We all know how big a deal it is. We don’t have to talk about it. As a team, I don’t think all five of us have played well together yet. If we do that, we can go really deep in the championships. Obviously the timing has to be right. I am sure there a lot of teams in the country who can say that. In terms of talent, we have all the talent we need to go as far as we want to.”

On the difference in this year compared to last two years
“We are much deeper from one to five. We were top-heavy the last couple of years. Jordan Dempsey was a great player, but he didn’t have a whole lot of help. The coaches have done a great job with us this year. Jonathan has been a big help. He was a year removed from being in the same shoes we are. Whenever we have a problem, we can go and talk to him, because he’s been there and done that.”