UVA’s Ben James strikes onto college golf scene
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - University of Virginia first-year Ben James is getting in some practice shots in at Birdwood Golf Course in Albemarle County. In a little more than two months on UVA Grounds, he’s helped the Cavaliers win two of the three tournaments they’ve played in.
James won UVA’s most recent tournament in windy conditions in the Hamptons, shooting 5-under par, nine strokes ahead of the second-place finishers.
“We all worked hard. Coach Groves and Coach Sargent have been really pushing us,” James said. “We’re just focused on our main goal, which is to win NCAA championships.”
James almost qualified for the U.S. Open, missing by one shot.
“I was very nervous,” he said. “Not really many more pressure-packed moments in golf than that.”
“The first thing I would say about him is he’s just unbelievably humble. Everybody talks about how good he is in golf, but just a great kid,” says UVa golf coach Bowen Sargent. “He’s so mature. His decision making, it’s really professional-like and that’s really rare at this stage of his career. When you see guys that can think like a tour pro and handle their emotions and carry themselves well that’s probably his biggest asset.”
James admits that he needs to work on his putting and knows there is more to learn about golf while he attends UVA.
“My ultimate goal is to win on the PGA tour. I think my game is good enough to win and I’m going to work as hard as I can to reach that goal and get my PGA tour card,” he said.
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