Men's fall countdown: No. 11 Virginia
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Next up on our men's 2014 fall countdown, No. 11 Virginia Cavaliers:
Editor's note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won't be available until a couple of the weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.
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Preseason rank: 11
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 17
2013-14 in review: Virginia was a strong team during the regular season, winning three tournaments (Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, Jim West Intercollegiate and Wolfpack Spring Open). But the team failed to carry that success into the postseason, missing out on a trip to the NCAA Championships by 15 strokes in the Columbia Regional as the No. 2 seed.
Notable departures: Ben Rusch, David Pastore
Key returnees: Seniors Denny McCarthy and Ji Soo Park and sophomore Derek Bard
Newcomers of note: Freshmen Austen Truslow and Danny Walker
Circled on the fall calendar: U.S. Collegiate, Oct. 17-19, GC of Georgia (Lakeside), Alpharetta, Ga.
Fall outlook: There's a lot of optimism surrounding Virginia this year, and much of it has to do with returners Denny McCarthy and Derek Bard, who played well on the amateur circuit. McCarthy made a run to the semifinals at the U.S. Amateur, among other accomplishments this summer (named to U.S. World Amateur team, finished second at Porter Cup), and Bard advanced to the second round of match play. McCarthy is one of the best players in the country, and he's joined by returning starters Bard and Ji Soo Park. Throw in prized recruit Austen Truslow, and Virginia has a lot of firepower in its lineup.
Coach's perspective: "I think we have a great team with Denny returning; he'll be our leader, no doubt. I think we have enough experience – some guys who are juniors and seniors and have played quite a bit – and we've got a good group of younger guys." - head coach Bowen Sargent