McCarthy still making name for himself
Virginia’s Denny McCarthy knows what it’s like to be overshadowed.
By being in a powerhouse class with players such as Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers, 2012-13 Player of the Year California’s Michael Kim and 2011-12 Player of the Year and former Alabama standout Justin Thomas, McCarthy has never been a player everyone talks about.
“You know, it’s kind of nice to stay under the radar a little bit,” said the Rockville, Md., native. “You come out here, do your thing and the rest will take care of itself.”
As head coach Bowen Sargent pointed out, it was the same story for former Cavalier Ben Kohles in 2012.
Kohles, a 2013 PGA Tour rookie, was in a class with dominant players such as Bud Cauley, Peter Uihlein and Brooks Koepka. Kohles had a hard time stealing headlines away from that cast.
Yet, Kohles was a three-time All-American at Virginia and holds multiple school records. Most notably, the record for wins in a career with seven. Kohles was record-setter just like Cauley, Uilhein and Koepka, and is now keeping up with them on the PGA Tour.
Kohles said he and McCarthy are very good friends and have the same style of game. They aren’t the longest hitters out there, but their short games and putting are what hold their games together.
“(McCarthy and I) scramble week in and week out,” Kohles said. “I think that really helped me (this year on Tour) and is helping him through college.”
McCarthy, a junior, has had much success during his time at Virginia, too.
In his freshman and sophomore years, McCarthy played in a combined 24 events. He had eight top-10 finishes, including his one collegiate victory -- the Northern Open. He averaged a 72.31 scoring average in both years at Virginia. He was tabbed as the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2010-11 and has been named to the All-ACC team each year.
This year, McCarthy has started the season with back-to-back top-5 finishes at the Northern Intercollegiate and the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup.
“He’s in a great spot and has had a great start to the season,” Kohles said.
McCarthy, an anthropology major, has a few goals in mind this season.
For coach Sargent’s 10th season, McCarthy wants to bring home Sargent’s first ACC title.
“I think that would be a nice finishing touch (for me),” McCarthy added.
He wants to not only be a leader on the course, but off the course, too, which is something he is working on this season.
“I was a captain last year, and I didn’t feel as if I did my best role in that. So this year I’m going to try to be a better leader . . .” he said. “So far I think this year on the course, I think I’ve done a pretty good job and also I just like to help my team in any ways as possible. Individual awards and individual wins those will come along with good golf, but I’ll try and take care of my teammates first.”
McCarthy’s ultimate goal is to play professional golf after he graduates, and Kohles believe he can and will excel in years to come.
Kohles said: “Look for big things from him this year and to finish his college career. And I think once he finishes up school, I think he’ll be out here (PGA Tour) pretty quickly.”