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PHCC Golf head coach Weinerth optimistic for year 1

September 13, 2013

PHCC Golf head coach Weinerth optimistic for Year 1

Friday, September 13, 2013

By JOHNNY BUCK – Special to the Bulletin

When head coach Robert Weinerth began recruiting for Patrick Henry Community College’s golf team, he wasn’t sure if the start-up program could be competitive in its inaugural season.

Now, with his roster finalized and the season’s first tournament scheduled for this weekend, Weinerth is upbeat about the team’s chances coming out of the gate.

“The talent level I’ve got exceeded my expectations,” said Weinerth. “I feel like after a month or so we will really be able to play well because they’re all so capable. I’ve seen three of them shoot even par or better (at Chatmoss Country Club), and that golf course is a pretty good test.”

More than half of the eight-man roster is made up of local players. Noah Harris and Tyler Shough were Patrick County High School graduates, Cody Prillaman and Josh Hearn attended Bassett High School, and Jake Drake was a Martinsville Bulldog.

Young Suh and Zack Naqvi came from the Virginia Beach area, while Dustin Roberts played at Staunton River High School in Moneta.
Weinerth recruited six golfers to join the team and then held open tryouts to fill his final two spots. One of the golfers who tried out was Harris; when the former Cougar shot 70, 72, 73, 75 from the blue tees at Chatmoss — having never played the course before — Weinerth felt like a kid at Christmas, he said.

Harris also was one of five Patriot golfers who performed well enough during practice rounds this week to make the trip to the first tournament of the season – the Surry Community College Fall Invitational at Silo Run Country Club in Boonville, N.C.

PHCC’s coach been doing his best to make each practice pressure-filled. Golfers will have to qualify during practice for the right to travel and compete in each tournament.
“That really is the pressure,” said Weinerth, the golf pro at Chatmoss. “In the golf tournament itself, you’re playing against the golf course; you’re out there to shoot a score. I don’t think that’s as much pressure as your daily grind to make the top 5” on the roster.

Harris, Roberts, Shough, Suh and Naqvi will compete in this weekend’s tournament, with the team’s top four performers accounting for the Patriots’ team score.
However, Weinerth expects to see his traveling roster shuffle throughout the year.

“I believe that all of them will play in tournaments this year, even though they have to qualify for every one of them,” he said. “They all have the talent and the ability to make a golf tournament. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be on the golf team.”

PHCC has three additional tournaments scheduled this fall, and five more in the spring season. As full members of the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA), the Patriots will be full competitors in the Region X Tournament on April 18-20 at Emerald Golf Club in New Bern, N.C.
The top five individual finishers at the regional tournament, as well as the winning team, will automatically qualify for the NJCAA National Tournament in early May at Daytona Beach Country Club in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Though Weinerth has a good gauge on his roster’s talent, he’s not yet sure how his players will handle adversity during a tournament.
And that, he said, is one of the biggest keys to college golf.

“Golf is like life: You’ve got ups, and you’ve got downs. How you handle the downs indicates how well you’re going to play. You’ve got to handle the downs, and you’ve got to make putts. Those two always go together,” he said. “But I think my golfers are going to do nothing but get better and better. The sky’s the limit.”

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