2012-09-13 / Sports

Nagy a hit at Classic

Mike Nagy Mike Nagy ROCKY FACE, Ga. – When former Manistique Emerald Mike Nagy was recruited and signed by the University of Tennessee to play Division I golf, there may have been a few people who wondered if a kid from the U.P. of Michigan could play at that level.

If his first tournament is any indication, the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Nagy, 19, played in his first collegiate tournament from Sept. 7-9 at Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic in Rocky Face, Ga. The tournament was held at “The Farm Golf Club”, an extremely tough course that plays to a slope rating of 151.

Out of a field of 78 golfers from 15 different schools, Nagy shot rounds of 70-71-73 (2 under par) – good for 11th place. Nagy, the only freshmen among the five Volunteers to make the trip, was the low man for Tennessee.

“Mike played incredibly well for his first college match,” University of Tennessee Assistant Coach Casey VanDamme said. “His ball-striking, course management, and short game were super. I was very impressed.”

Nagy was actually playing as the No. 5 man for the Volunteers, with experienced, veteran upperclassmen holding down the top spots for Tennessee. But after three days and 54 holes, he was the only team member to shoot under par.

“Coach Jim Kelson told me that in his fourteen years at Tennessee, this was the best performance he’d ever seen from a freshman in his first match,” VanDamme said. “He’s thrilled at Mike’s performance, and excited about his potential to keep getting better.”

The tournament featured several of the best golf schools in the country, including: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, Alabama, Wake Forest, Clemson, and Texas. Each school fielded five golfers, counting the best four of five each day.

“He probably beat half a dozen guys who were Division I All-Americans last year,” VanDamme said. “I knew Mike was good, but I didn’t know he was this good.”

Nagy holds virtually every golf record in Manistique, both at his high school and at his home course, Indian

Lake Golf and Country Club. He won four club championships in a row, finishing in 2011, when he recorded an incomprehensible 60 for 18 holes, 12 under par.

“Mike has all the tools necessary to become a really special player for us,” said VanDamme, who followed him for nearly every shot over the three day tournament. “He has great course management, great work ethic, great short game ... and under that quiet demeanor, he’s a tough competitor. We are thrilled he’s a Volunteer.”

Brandon Stone led Texas to the team title at the tournament, shooting 69-63-72 (204) for the three days. The University of Georgia took second place and Alabama was third. The University of Tennessee took eighth place among the 15 teams. Individual 3-day totals for the Volunteers were: Nagy (214), Rick Lamb (218), Marshall Talkington (222), Jay Vandeventer (225), and Brandon Rodgers (225).

Nagy and the University of Tennessee will tee it up next at the Windon Memorial tournament in Chicago, Ill., on Sept. 23 and 24.

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