Men’s golf prepares for ACC Tournament

Cavaliers to send five golfers to New London, N.C.

spgolfderekbardcourtesyvirginiaathletics

The Virginia men’s golf team will begin postseason play when they participate in the ACC Tournament starting Friday at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C.

The team hopes to continue its consistent play this season when it faces off against 11 conference foes in the 54-hole showdown. The Cavaliers have recorded top-five finishes in each of their five regular season tournaments.

Virginia will enter the tournament as the five-seed and will be a part of the second-to-last grouping to tee off Friday morning alongside fourth-seeded North Carolina and sixth-seeded Duke. After Friday’s first round, teams will tee off Saturday and Sunday according to their results from previous rounds of play. The seeding for the tournament was determined by the Golfstat rankings through April 13.

The field at the ACC Tournament will be by far the harshest the Cavaliers have seen all season. Of the 12 teams competing, nine are ranked in the top 50 nationally, according to the most recent Golfweek poll.

Coach Bowen Sargent said that the team used last weekend’s Wolfpack Invitational in Raleigh, N.C., where they placed third, to work out some lingering concerns with the team, specifically the performance level at the fifth and final roster spot.

“We answered some questions that needed to be answered, and I think we should be in a good position going forward,” he said.

Sargent also said that while he is satisfied with the team’s consistency this season, the team’s mentality is still to take home the ACC Championship.

“Our mentality is to win,” he said. “In terms of our team goals, this is at the top of our list. To win the ACC [is] clearly our biggest goal.”

The 24th-ranked Cavaliers will send just five golfers to the tournament, two of whom are ranked in the top 100 individually. Junior Derek Bard (No. 31), who was recently named to the U.S. Arnold Palmer Cup team two weeks removed from his participation in the Masters, will lead the way at the one-spot for Virginia. He will be joined by junior Jimmy Stanger (No. 78), sophomore Danny Walker (No. 130) and the team’s two freshmen, Thomas Walsh and Ashton Poole.

Following this weekend, the Cavaliers’ season will continue upon their placement in the NCAA Regionals, which begin in mid-May.

Virginia is slated to tee off Friday at 10:30 a.m. Coverage for Saturday and Sunday’s rounds will be provided by ESPN3.

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