Men's Golf NEWS

International influence bonding PHCC golf team

April 5, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Golf, like other sports, has the ability to teach life lessons that extend beyond the game.

Being able to plan out and execute a game plan, fighting through adversity and working hard to achieve greatness are just a few of those lessons. Over the last year at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), sophomore Swedish international Daniel Rudolfsson has become the Patriots’ teacher on the golf course.

The All-American from a season ago is one of three Swedish golfers on the PHCC team this spring and is one of four international players on the six-player roster. Arguably the biggest lesson the team has learned this season is the ability to play together. In a sport that is driven individually, it’s been the Patriots’ diligence as a group that has spurred their early season success.

“The unique thing about this team is that everyone wants to see the other guy do well,” Patriots coach Robert Weinerth said. “Daniel wants to see Damian (Beasley) play well and win and at a lot of other programs there’s jealousy. All it takes is one to mess things up and we don’t have that, we have a good thing going on our team.”

Rudolfsson won the team’s second event of the season by taking top medalist honors at Olde Liberty Golf Club in Youngsville, N.C. He shot a 75 and 77 under windy, wet, cold conditions nearly a month ago, and when he hasn’t been at his best, his teammates have been there to back up the PHCC No. 1.

That was the case this past weekend at the Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate Golf Championships, where fellow Swede, freshman Filip Ekenstrom, fired a 1-over 71 on the final day of three to help secure a consolation flight victory. Bristol, England sophomore Lawrence Howliston took the reigns all weekend as the No. 3 shot three rounds of 3-over par to finish as the team’s top golfer.

Ekenstrom fell in a playoff during the team’s opening tournament, and has steadily remained in mix as one of PHCC’s top three that can be looked upon to go low at any point.

Beasley, a Stuart Va. native and graduate of Patrick County High School, also shot a 71 on the final day at Camp Lejeune. The sophomore has formed a good relationship with Rudolfsson and that bond, Weinerth said, is an example of the unique connectedness the golf team personifies. Having a diverse and ‘odd’ grouping of players from all walks of life helps keep the chemistry strong, the coach added.

Rudolfsson said having reliable teammates is a key part of the team’s overall success, but more importantly it’s the competitive drive that each player brings that continues to raise the bar. Practice rounds and even the team’s qualifying rounds to determine their five-player team for the next tournament can be more competitive than the actual scoring rounds, Rudolfsson said.

“We get competitive from time to time when we practice and that’s a positive,” Rudolfsson said. “I know I have to play good to beat Filip and he knows he has to be on his game to beat me as well.”

“I know that if I work hard on my game and play good during practice that I will do good in a tournament, too,” Ekenstrom added. “Me and Daniel have some good matches out on the course and that helps me a lot.”

Weinerth said Rudolfsson’s attention to detail has rubbed off on the others in terms of course management and how to methodically work through 18 holes of golf. Weinerth has gone as far to say his team’s No. 1 acts as an assistant coach some of the time.

Rudolfsson added that having the pressure put on him to push his teammates and supply the scores expected to win is personally needed for him to be at his best.

“I need a certain about of pressure to commit and play my best. I think it’s good for me to have that pressure so that I can be the best role model I can be and rally the other guys on the team,” Rudolfsson said. “To be able to shoot the scores needed to win you have to work hard to get there, and I want to be the guy that gets up in the morning and shows the guys what is needed to get better.”

In college golf, achieving a balance between individual performance while at the same time incorporating the team element is what helps maintain consistent low scores. The Patriot golfers are on a good path to end up back in the national tournament and best their 12th place finish from a season ago.

Filed under: Men's Golf