NCAA Golf News

The Next Grip – Mississippi State

The Next Grip - Mississippi State

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – At 2:47 p.m. central time Friday, Mississippi State men’s golf will tee off at the NCAA Championships and begin its quest for a national title.

It’s a huge moment. It’s a big stage. But don’t expect the Bulldogs to be overwhelmed. Head coach Dusty Smith‘s group has a plan. The Dawgs will simply focus on the task immediately at hand.

“We kind of relate it to being a rock climber,” Smith explained. “You’re just focused on the next grip…You don’t look up. You don’t look down. You just focus on the next grip.”

Step by step, or to be more accurate, shot by shot, the Bulldogs will give it their all and let the chips fall where they may over the upcoming days at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. The field will start with 30 of the country’s best teams. There’ll be four rounds of stroke play with the field cut to 15 teams following the third round. After the fourth round, eight remaining squads advance to match play with quarterfinals and semifinals on Tuesday and the final on Wednesday.

Time will tell if the Bulldogs can stand tall at the end, but this much is certain – they have experience rising to the top of the pack at tournaments.

The Dawgs have won three team titles this season. It’s tied for the third-highest total in program history. Most recently, MSU claimed its first-ever NCAA Regional title when it won the Morgan Hill Regional last week.

In that event, State showed its tremendous potential with four Bulldogs – Hunter Logan, Ford Clegg, Pedro Cruz Silva and Garrett Endicott – finishing among the top 15 individuals in the tournament. MSU as a unit came out on top by five strokes.

“We weren’t just going to try and finish in the top five [and advance],” Smith said. “We were going out to do what we needed to do to put ourselves in position to win the golf tournament and they took it and ran with it.”

It really came as no surprise to Smith. He’s seen his players grow over the last few years and build Mississippi State golf into a national contender. The Bulldogs now have a chance to be a national champion thanks to how they’ve developed though the hard times. Pressure makes diamonds and Smith has watched on as his team’s past circumstances have certainly made them come out shining in the present.

“I’m just proud of their resilience,” Smith said of his group. “I’m…


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