BJU participated in its first golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 9–10, at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Clarkesville, Ga., playing against Piedmont College, Covenant College and Truett-McConnell. While the Bruins finished in fourth place with a combined score of 648, freshman Zeier Fleming did shoot a tournament-best 76 on Monday, offering a glimpse of positive things to come.
We were fortunate enough to interview junior accounting major Clay Wiginton, a member of the first Bruins squad, and get his insight on the early development of Bruins golf and the inaugural tournament.
Collegian: What was the process for gaining a spot on the golf team?
Wiginton: “Coach [Denny] Scott sent out an email a week and a half before school, so it was a pretty quick process. There was an open tryout after Monday’s opening service, when we met at Cross Winds, [a] Par 3 course down the street, to play and get oriented. He invited some of us to attend the next tryout at Furman the following day, then the final tryout was on that Wednesday.”
Collegian: What did your coach tell all of you before the first tournament?
Wiginton: “He gave us his expectations, and he had a more realistic approach than we did. We were just really excited to play, so our expectations were a bit optimistic. He reminded us that it was our first tournament and the first tournament in school history. He kind of kept us on the ground while getting us ready to play.”
Collegian: What do you guys do while traveling? Do you all get along?
Wiginton: “We have a lot of fun for sure. Coach Scott drives, and we take a [university] van to events. We have a bunch of different types of guys and personalities. It’s funny to think how after only a week you’re such good friends already, and we are all really looking forward to that aspect of the season.”
Collegian: How do you pronounce Zeier’s name? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has wondered. . .
Wiginton: “It’s pronounced like ‘Zyer.’ We get a lot of funny pronunciations — people always think it’s some foreign name and say it wrong.”
Collegian: Was it your first competitive golf tournament? What about the others?
Wiginton: “It was my first tournament since high school, but I did play competitively back then. All of the others have played competitively before, but Zeier has the most experience. He won some state championships with his high school before he came [to BJU].”
Collegian: Describe Coach Scott.
Wiginton: “He’s not very hard on us, and he tries to keep us on the ground without suppressing us. We love him as a coach, and he tries to lead in a way that doesn’t change who we are or how we play.”
Collegian: What were the team’s goals going into the first tournament?
Wiginton: “[Coach Scott’s] goals were much different from ours. He gave us a goal that we thought was easy, since the practice round went really well on Saturday. Well, it turns out we didn’t even reach his goal. Our expectations were too high for ourselves.”
Collegian: What do you want to improve as a team and take away from this tournament?
Wiginton: “I think the biggest thing I need to improve is my consistency. I was away from golf for three months while I was in Germany this summer, so I basically got back in the States and had tryouts. I need to work on consistency through reps and practice. As a team, we were all inconsistent. There were some really good scores on the first day, but they were all switched around on Tuesday. We need to shoot well every day.”