Cavalier Corner

April 2018

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APRIL 2018 29 cavalier profile THOMAS WALSH Third-Year • Golf Just more than a year ago, Thomas Walsh's golf career was on the verge of becoming a memory. "I got hurt in June and played my first round of golf in August," said Walsh, who last season was a PING/Golf Coaches of Amer- ica Association honorable mention All-American. "I had facet joints in my back which caused me to spasm. "I was playing my best golf, and I wanted to play through it. But I got to the range and couldn't hit the ball more than 20 feet. I had to withdraw from a tournament for the first time ever. "I was a little worried if I would able to come back. I learned that I didn't have all the skills I had in May and would have to be more patient." Through a combination of therapy and rest, Walsh has come all the way back. Through the end of March, he had shot six of the team's 10 best rounds and had seven of UVA's top 13 individual finishes. He also had led Virginia in scoring five times in its last six tournaments. "You come from junior golf, and all you have to do to play well was hit the ball well," said Walsh, who has nine top-10 career finishes to his credit. "In college, I had a big learning curve regarding my short game which I needed to touch up with my coach [Bowen Sargent]." Working with Sargent, Walsh has made major improvements in his golf game. "I was a marginal putter my first two years," he said. "I could get hot, but wasn't consistent. Now I'm pretty much about the PGA average. My best rounds are where I'm not hitting it my best, but I'm putting well." Walsh was third on the team last year with a 72.54 stroke aver- age. Heading into April, he led UVA with a 71.08 stroke average. "I was a perfectionist my first two years," he said. "Coach Sar- gent helped identify that if I wasn't so tough on myself I would play well. It's been more mental and having confidence in what I'm doing." — Mike Scandura Photo by Jim Daves/courtesy UVA

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