Sophomore shines for VCU men’s golf team

Sophomore Adam Ball has finished in the top five 10 times in 11 individual tournaments played. Photo courtesy of VCUAthletics.

Bobby Gary 
Contributing Writer

Sophomore golfer Adam Ball is only in his second full season, but he’s already making waves as a premier golfer, finishing in the top five 10 times out of 11 individual tournaments played.

At only 19 years old, Ball recently set the course record at Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate tournament at Hilton Head, S.C. Ball rallied from a stroke down with three holes to play to defeat Presbyterian College’s Davis Parker and capture his first collegiate victory.

“It was a long time coming,” Ball said. “I think the toughest thing is to get the first one, now it will be a little easier.”

Ball has been playing golf his whole life. Growing up, he and his friends would get a group and hit the links.

“Some kids would go ride bikes, we would go play golf,” Ball said.

Growing up in the Richmond area, Ball has been a VCU fan for a long time. After high school, he chose to attend VCU, where his father Matt Ball is in his 15th season as head coach of the men’s golf team. Adam’s older brother Matt Ball Jr. is in his senior year on the VCU squad.

A big part of his decision to play at VCU was to be around his family and the school he had grown up being a fan of.

“My dad has been my swing coach my entire life,” Ball said. “I’ve been in love with the school and everything about it for as long as I can remember.”

As a sophomore, Ball said he feels he is finding his place on the team but said he wouldn’t necessarily claim the leadership role just yet.

“My brother is a great leader,” Ball said. “He hasn’t missed a tournament in his three-and-a-half years here, everybody looks up to him.”

For the team competitions, the Rams finished fourth at the Wexford Plantation Tournament, but have set their goals high for this season. VCU hopes to win four tournaments, already winning one last semester at the ODU Outer Banks tournament. The team also has its sights set on capturing the A-10 title and earning a bid in the NCAA tournament — a goal Ball said is within reach.

As an individual player, Ball hopes to make it to the NCAA championships, and with this first win under his belt, he could accomplish this.

“I prepare every tournament like I want to win it,” Ball said. “My main goal is to stay in every single tournament and get myself in contention for the last round every single time.”

But even Ball said he thinks golf is about more than competition.

“Golf is about having fun,” Ball said. “Even at the Division I college level. If you’re not having fun, you’re not going to play good golf.”

This mentality is apparent in Ball’s game and personality. He is a fan of professional golfer Jason Dufner, and shares his laid back, witty personality.

If he’s not on the golf course you may find Ball and his teammates at Home Team Grill on Main Street enjoying the half-price burgers on Tuesdays. Like any other student, Ball is a huge VCU Basketball fan and enjoys watching his fellow student-athletes at the Siegel Center.

“I’ve been able to talk to Shaka a couple times and we’re on a name-to-name basis, it’s pretty cool,” he said.

For Ball, the college career holds nothing but good things for him and his VCU squad, which is picked to win the A-10 this year. The young player still says his favorite moment is winning the tournament last semester and not only being able to share the win with his teammates, but also with his family members.

“It was an amazing time and something not many people get to experience,” Ball said.

The Rams are back in action March 10 at the Auburn University Tiger Invitational in Opelika, Ala.

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