Mississippi State junior Chad Ramey named Southeastern Conference player of the week after first career win Photo by: MSU athletics
March 15, 2013 10:51:29 AM
STARKVILLE - After having played a few seasons himself, Mississippi State University golf coach Clay Homan doesn't throw out lightly that one of his players can make it professionally.
He has no problem saying it about Chad Ramey.
Ramey, who Homan describes as the "best ball striker that he's ever coached" in his 10 seasons at his alma mater, earns Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors after picked up his first-career win at MSU with his 3-under par, 213 at the Tiger Invitational hosted at Auburn University by PGA Tour player Jason Dufner. The 3-under-par was three strokes ahead of second-place Niclas Carlsson of Auburn. Ramey improved his score by one stroke each round at Grand National (72-71-70).
"I think a lot of college players think they can handle professional golf and 90 percent of them are wrong," Homan said. "Yes, Chad can do it because not only is he talented but he has the correct mentality and maturity to play consistently in the stress level that is professional golf. Whether he makes it professionally takes some luck and some fortunate breaks in your career but yes, Chad has all the tools to make it."
The statistics back up Homan's opinion on Ramey as if you look at the school's best scoring averages since 1993-94, the other names (Michael Connell and Alex Rocha) around Ramey's last two seasons are competing on the PGA Tour and the Web.com Tour - the AAA tour sponsored by the PGA.
Here's are MSU's best scoring averages since 93-94:
Season Name Rounds Avg. Score Versus Par
1999-00 Alex Rocha 40.0 70.57 -1.05
1997-98 Michael Connell 42.0 72.00 0.43
1996-97 Michael Connell 36.0 72.14 0.47
1995-96 Graham Davidson 29.0 72.17 0.48
1998-99 Alex Rocha 38.0 72.32 0.79
2012-13 CHAD RAMEY 24.0 72.17 0.92
2007-08 Noah Goldman 34.0 72.82 1.21
2011-12 CHAD RAMEY 34.0 72.50 1.29
The 41st-ranked Bulldogs turned in a 889, 9-over-par to run away with the Tiger Invitational crown last week, beating out five other ranked squads. State won on a cold and rainy week at Grand National Golf Club by seven strokes.
"A lot of our kids play better when the conditions are bad but that's when you can separate yourself from the field," Homan said. "Chad is a perfect example of that because when shots have to be precise, he shows how much better he is than everybody else."
MSU lost to No. 21 Auburn at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate, but the Bulldogs got revenge on the Tigers home course giving MSU a shot of confidence that they can compete with the nation's best teams. The win improved the Maroon and White to 74-25-1 on the year.
"Our goal this season was make the NCAA championships and we think we have the talent and the depth on our team right now to make the final 32 teams cut right now," Homan said, "We've been able to get a lot of work done away from campus during spring break and I think our guys are playing their best golf at the right time."
The win at Grand National was the Bulldogs second on the year, giving coach Homan nine career-event wins at MSU. Homan is now in first-place all-time in career wins, passing former coach Greg Martin.
Mississippi State immediately headed south for the Seminole Intercollegiate hosted by Florida State on March 15-17.
The 54-hole, three-day event from Tallahassee will feature 11 teams, seven of which qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships. The Bulldogs will face off against three top 50 ranked squads at the Seminole Intercollegiate.
"We have guys back at home that we didn't take to Tallahassee that we think could come out and play consistently right now," Homan said. "We've got the kind of program I've been trying to build for years because with three juniors and a senior, we're not relying on a freshman player to put up great scores."
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
2. Columbus tree lighting to have new look, locale ENTERTAINMENT