Lipscomb University golfer Cody Hale is an island of calm in what can often be a green sea of emotions.
"One thing about Cody is he plays with a lot of tenacity," said Dr. Ralph Samples, Lipscomb's golf coach. "If he ends up with a double bogey on a hole you never see a change in his expression. He just goes to the next hole and maybe gets a birdie. A lot of players, when they have bad hole, they get to pressing and have another bad hole because their nerves are uptight."
Hale's ability to stay on an even emotional keel has served him well in the early going of his sophomore season with the Bisons. Hale, a former high school state champion at Tullahoma High School, has a second place finish in the Gulf Coast Collegiate Classic in Bay St. Louis, Miss., and a first place finish this past week at the Eastern Kentucky Colonel Classic at Richmond, Ky.
""Cody has always been pretty consistent, but right now he is at the top of his game as far his mechanics and his swing," Samples said. "He is really keeping the ball in play and hitting it well."
His performance at the Colonel Classic was a record setter. His scores for three rounds were 71, 67, and 68 to win by one stroke. Based on the records kept by Samples, Hale's six -under after 36 holes tied Jeff Mcray's record set in 1988. His 10-under after 54 holes broke the old mark of six-under set by Will Brewer in 1977 and tied by Mcray in 1988. His five-under 67 in the second round tied a school mark held by five other golfers.
The team also broke the school records for 18 holes, 36 holes and 54 holes.
"They smoked the old records," Samples said. "They were 10-under for 18 holes, 12-under for 36 holes and seven-under for 54 holes. Those records had been sitting there since 1983."
During the spring season his freshman year Hale, a national tournament veteran as a high school player, shot his lowest round on the final day of the regular season _ a 68 at the . He averaged a 73 for the season.
Cody is pretty steady," Samples said. "Playing Division I the competition is really up a notch. He has played some good golf for me the two years he has been here."