Written by Juston Lewis, Staff Writer
VSU Golf is ready to tee off on another great season. The Blazers finished second out of 18 teams in the Kiawah Island Invitational, which was the team’s first tournament of the year.
Olav Zandveld led VSU with a two-under score for the tournament, which left him tied for sixth overall out of 88 golfers. Colton Godwin finished tied for tenth at one-under.
Head coach Jared Purvis has been at VSU for 12 years and has coached six All-Americans. Purvis’ teams have notched 15 tournament wins in his tenure here and have gotten many invitations to nationally respected tournaments.
Purvis said his main goal is to get the team back to its winning ways.
“Winning is first and foremost, but if we don’t win we want to put forth a solid effort and minimize mistakes,” Purvis said.
Winning is nothing new to VSU golf as the Blazers have often been ranked nationally under Purvis. However, last year the team placed near the end of the pack in most tournaments. They did finish fourth out of 11 teams in the conference tournament.
He is optimistic about the added depth to the team as well as the improvements that some players have made.
With only one senior on the team the Blazers are still relatively young but they have a year of added experience. Purvis said the younger players may face some challenges early, but they should be able to adapt easily.
“The way our new guys adapt to college golf, even though they might’ve played in the best junior tournaments it shouldn’t be much adapting but you never know,” Purvis said.
There are five freshmen on Coach Purvis’ team and he said his best advice to them would be to never give up and keep fighting till the end. Purvis said he told his players to “stay even keel and don’t show too many emotions, even if you are fighting your butt off don’t show it.”
Purvis said any one of the golfers could have a breakout year.
“Golf is just a pretty weird game,” Purvis said. “It could be any of the guys. One minute you’re a middle of the pack guy and the next minute your one of the top golfers in the nation.”