Update From MSU Golf Coach Clay Homan

Mississippi State's men's golf team, which advanced to the NCAA Championship after finishing in fourth place at the NCAA East Regional last week, is currently tied in 28th place at the NCAA Championship, which is being held at the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Indiana.

His team had an early tee time of 7:30 this morning in 45 degree weather with a 20 mile per hour wind. At the time I wrote this, 15 of the 30 teams had completed the 1st round, so his team's place among all 30 teams may change slightly.

Your team's score after the first round is 38 over, which tentatively puts them in a tie for 28th place.
"We knew it was going to be extremely tough coming in because they make the national championship the toughest test of the year.

"We got the short end of the stick on the tee times. And the weather was a factor. It was 45 degrees when we woke up this morning with 20 mile an hour winds out of the northeast. It was just tough to play in the cold weather and the wind.

"We got off to a terrible start and was just trying to play catchup from there on out. We had two guys shoot 48, which is, by far, their worst nine of the year and probably of their lives. But we played much better our last nine holes, which was the front of the golf course. We started on the back nine, which is the tougher nine of the two.

"I'm really not trying to make excuses because you have to play in whatever the situation calls for. We just didn't come out and respond the way we should have. We made mistakes early which caused us to (shoot) some big numbers early, and we didn't really recover from that.

"It looks like the weather for the rest of the day is better - the temperature is 20 degrees warmer and the wind is dying down, so I think you will see better scores this afternoon."

You'll have a later tee time Thursday won't you?
"Yes, we will have a later tee time which will be good. But one thing you can't control is the weather. Sometimes it works in your favor and sometimes it doesn't."

After having a day like today, what do you tell your guys to help boost their confidence?
"I don't think their confidence is shattered. They know they are certainly better players than they showed today. This is a type of golf that they have never seen before. It's like a U.S. Open. We just have to eliminate the double bogeys and higher. And that's what we didn't do today because we had something like 13 holes where we had score of a double bogey or higher. You just can't play golf with scores that high.

"I really think they will come out tomorrow with a better mindset because they will know what to expect the second time around. And, hopefully, they will play much better. There is a lot of golf left to be played. And the good thing about this golf course is you can make up a lot of ground and you can go up or down really, really quickly."

Click the link to view the NCAA Championship website

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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