FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The golf team at Fayetteville State University is accustomed to being at the top of the heap.
The Broncos have 26 conference titles and this year look to take it one step further.
Saturday they beat Bently in a one-hole playoff to qualify for the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship.
“We were tied up after the first group pretty much with one bogey and one par a piece,” said head golf coach John Cole. “We got to the second group and made some clutch putts from about five or six feet and their guy missed from about 4 1/2 feet to lose we knew right then we had moved on.”
“It was a lot of fun especially since I started on the team last year and to have COVID strike and miss out on the conference championship last year and miss out on regionals — it was a fun first time to go,” said player Brandon Jones. “A lot of hard work was put into getting here and just watching all the hard work come out of it, it felt really good.”
It’s their first trip to the National Championship since 2009 when former head coach Raymond McDougal led FSU to a 17th place finish.
Much like golfers have a sixth sense for how greens will break, this group seemed to know they had something special right from the start.
“The first tournament of the year I knew that we had a great team and we were going to have a great chance to make history for our team and the school,” said team captain Logan Sessoms. “We played good, we beat the odds of not having to win a conference championship to make the regional. We had to make it through regional ranking and we worked our way up hard enough and we made it that way.”
Usually, a group that has the moxie to make it to the regionals without winning a conference championship and then outlast a squad in a playoff to win, is loaded with senior talent.
Typically the team is full of guys that have been there before, know what pressure is all about and have the experience. Usually, but not the baby Broncos.
“We don’t have a senior on the team — we have basically have four freshmen and a junior and one junior that’s going to travel with us to nationals,” said Cole. “We are simply young. We’re going to have the same team next year and we’re going to be tough to beat for a while. We are excited and they are going to get experience as we go on. It’s a special group and they are young and they are hungry and they are ready to compete.”
“I really don’t think we have what we would call our one through five guys — it’s all just one team,” said Jones. “We don’t have a single one guy or five guys. Everybody is just on the team and we are all right there together.”
The championships will be held May 17 to 21 at The PGA National Resort and Spa and The Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The championships will be hosted by Palm Beach Atlantic University and Palm Beach County Sports Commission.