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Wednesday, August 26, 2009The way teams play golf in the fall is more often than not a strong indicator of what to expect in the spring. And coach Buddy Harston, in his third season as coach of the both the Bisons and Lady Bisons is expecting both teams to come back with new attitudes.
“It’ great to have five leaders on a team, but you have to have at least one who leads just by example through their work,” said Harston. “Either they are staying later after practice and working or they are calling teammates on a Sunday afternoon to go out and play golf instead of taking a nap.”
Harston would like to have both teams filled with Eddie Ards, which is unusual because he was a star basketball player for the Bisons, not a golfer. What Harston likes most about Ard is the work ethic he exhibits.
“Eddie Ard was always over here shooting a basketball instead of watching TV or playing video games,” said Harston. “That’s why he was All-Conference.
“One of the reasons I really love golf is that it is so individual. Yes, we have Lipscomb teams, but I want five individuals like Eddie Ard. If we had five individuals who worked on their golf like Eddie Ard does basketball then we would be in the hunt for the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.”
Cody Hale, a two-time A-Sun All-Conference performer for the Bisons golf team, also offers a prime example of a strong work ethic.
“There are no shortcuts,” said Harston. “Cody wasn’t born with a great golf swing, but he worked at it. He worked on every facet of the game.
‘There are so many parts of this game. You have to have the power, but you also have to have the precision to go with the power. You have to have the short game touch. And you have to have the mental attitude of not getting in your own way and trying too hard. You have to just let it happen. If you do the work then the pressure on that first tee and that 18th green go way down.”
The Lady Bisons welcome only one new golfer, Maggie Siddons from Acworth, Ga. She brings a strong resume including All-State honors, and is also a fundamentally sound golfer. Missing from the team are Brie Rowdon and Ashlee Catlin who both finished their eligibility last season.
“I expect good things from Maggie,” said Harston. “She has good fundamentals in her swing. She wants to see how good she can be. You have to have that attitude and be willing to put the effort in.
“She drove up from Georgia and paid her own way to attend a golf camp I did this summer out at The Legends. That shows something that she would come to the camp and not stay at home and go shopping.”
Katie Pursell, who finished 14th in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship, is expected to be the leader of the team as a junior. This summer she advanced to the second round of the Women’s Amateur Championship in Memphis.
“We look for her to have a good year,” said Harston. “Katie works harder than any other girl on the team, bar none."
The men’s team has added three new players _ Alex Cox, Blanton Farmer and Ben McMahon.
“I expect Ben to be good out of the box,” said Harston. “His fundamentals are very good. He is a strong kid.
“As Alex gets stronger he is going to help us. He has a really good short game.”
Farmer could be the biggest surprise of the three.
“Blanton drove down from Lexington to one of my camps and paid his own way,” said Harston. “For someone to drive three or four hours like that shows something to me. Not only that, he can really hit the ball.”
Samuel Marcrom, Dylan Waters and Brandon Mundie are all back. Also back for half a year Is Chad Rush. William Mayfield is coming off a red-shirt season.
“They are all capable,” said Harston. “Dylan really improved as the season progressed. Brandon has more scores in the 60s than anyone returning. How they play this fall is 98 percent dependent on how they did this summer.”