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Keegan and Kaye Bradley talk about Mother's Day

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STJ Men's Golf alumnus Keegan Bradley and his mother Kaye sat down with the PGA Tour this week to reminisce about Mother's Day

Senior Pat Wilson stopped by to talk about the team's confidence heading to Reunion Resort for the 2013 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championships, April 28-30.

Previewing Keegan Bradley at 2013 Masters

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St. John's 2009 alumnus Keegan Bradley will get his second crack at famed Augusta National on Thursday as the 2011 PGA Champion and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year begins the 2013 Masters with a 1:41 tee time. The three-time winner on the PGA Tour will be paired with Frederik Jacobson and World No. 2 Rory McIlroy at the first major of the year. Several golf experts have given Bradley - currently ranked No. 11 in the wordl - a sizeable chance to take home his second major this weekend, including some that have picked him as the favorite at Augusta.  Bradley has made headlines for his love of the layout and atmosphere at The Masters, and was the first player to sign in to the week's action in eager anticipation. He has been in Georgia for almost a week, hoping that the extra time on the course will help him get comfortable and be ready to make a charge.

What they're saying about Bradley:

In The Tee Box: Ryan Gay and Ryan McCormick

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Men's golf senior Ryan Gay and junior Ryan McCormick stopped by to talk about this week's Anteater Invitational.

Watch Andrew Svoboda Earn His PGA Tour Card

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In the Tee Box: Ryan McCormick

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Hey Red Storm Golf Fans,

I am sure you have all been following the Ryder Cup action today, just as we have. It's been quite an exciting day, and an even better day for Keegan Bradley! We are currently in New Haven, Connecticut for the McDonald Cup, hosted by Yale. Our practice round was rained out today, giving us an opportunity to watch the coverage all day. 

We were all in awe of Keegan's play today and were glued to the TV all day. Our team has been hard at work the past couple weeks getting ready for the tournament this weekend. Dylan [Crowley], Jeremy [Quinn], Ryan [Gay] and Mitch [Hadfield] competed in team qualifying to see who would play this weekend at the McDonald Cup. After a tough four rounds, Jeremy, Mitch and Ryan advanced through qualifying to compete this weekend. Dylan has traveled up with us and will serve as Assistant Coach on the course to help us out.

On a side note, I was fortunate enough on Thursday to be honored by the Monmouth County Freeholders at the Hall of Records in Freehold, NJ. I was recognized for my play this summer and they named September 27th, Ryan McCormick Day. It is quite an honor to have a day named after me! It feels almost like I have another birthday now! However, I am not the first person on our team to have a day named after me. On August 1st in Maine, it is officially Ryan Gay day.

Keegan has inspired us to play well tomorrow and we are excited to get out there. We are slated to start at 11 a.m. tomorrow, as they have cut 18 holes out of the tournament because of all the rain. The last time this happened at the McDonald Cup was two years ago, when we won the the tournament and took home the McDonald Cup. Lets hope that history repeats itself! Thank you all for your tremendous support of our program. Let's go USA!
Ryan McCormick '14

Day Three from the Ryder Cup - September 27

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Let the Games begin!! Pairing for opening round matchups tomorrow were announced and U.S. rookie Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson get the start in Match #2 vs. Europe's Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald at the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah (IL) Country Club at 8:35 a.m. EST. The format is alternate shot to begin the morning session which also includes the following matchups:

* Jim Furyk and Brant Snedeker (US) vs.Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (Europe), 8:20 a.m. EST, Match #1

* Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson (US) vs. Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari, 8:50 a.m. EST, Match #3

* Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods (US) vs. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose (Europe), 9:05 a.m. EST, Match #4

Thursday's Opening Ceremonies highlighted the day where tradition and respect for the game of golf was the overriding theme. The European squad lauded former Ryder Cup captain Seve Ballesteros, who passed away in 2011, as this year's captain Jose' Maria Olazabal fought back tears for his good friend and mentor. U.S.captain Davis Love III, talked about this not being a battle like the senseless wars taking place across the world, but more of an athletic competition among friends.

"In today's society we need to rely on friends from all parts of the world," said Love III.

That labor of love could also be seen as Bradley and Mickelson ended their final practice round when a boy slipped through the ropes and the two pros gladly signed his flag and took a picture with the young boy. Then, as the crowd chanted U.S.A., both players signed autographs as a huge throng gathered behind the 18th green. Sergio Garcia of Europe did the same as he walked down the 18th fareway and was greated by another young admirer - put his arm around him and signed his cap.

Justin Timberlake, U.S. Ryder Cup Ambassador, and former American Idol vocalist Jordan Sparks added star power to the afternoon which concluded on a high note with both team's national anthems.

Wednesday Ryder Cup Wrap Up From Medinah

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Day Two from The Ryder Cup - September 26

The 26 year old U.S. rookie strolled out for Day Two of his Ryder Cup experience, golf's premier event against Europe, with his Red (pants), White (cap) and Blue (shirt) tucked neatly into his slacks. Keegan Bradley, St. John's University alum, is awed by the magnitude of this global event but doesn't look out of place nor is he intimidated. A few butterflies maybe, but up for the challenge nonetheless.

He was asked in his first Ryder Cup media session about being on a big stage and having to make a winning putt or shot to win the Ryder Cup for the U.S. "If it does come down to me I'd love it," Bradley said without flinching. "I can't speak from experience because I've never played a Ryder Cup, and it took me by surprise a little bit at how intense and into it every player is, so if I have to win my match on the final day I'd relish the challenge."

Paired on Wednesday with Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and Jason Duffner, the foursome worked on different format elements during their practice round to prepare for the weekend competition (Sept. 28-30) ahead. A crowd of more than 25,000 flocked to Medinah (IL) Country Club just outside of Chicago to take in the festivities today, as players continued to engage the fans, sign autographs and soak up the atmosphere. A gala Ryder Cup dinner with performances by Justin Timberlake and the group Chicago headline Wednesday night's activities.

Thursday it's all business with the announcement of team pairings and strategies put in place for the U.S. to try to wrestle the Cup away from the defending champion European squad and Bradley knows he can lean on the veterans of this U.S. team for support.

"It's comforting as a rookie to know I can go talk to a Jim Furyk, Phil or Tiger (Woods) or any of these guys and they are there for you and want to help," added Bradley during the media session.

Next up is the last practice round tomorrow and the formal Opening Ceremonies from 5-6 p.m. EST, complete with sport coats, shirts and ties before an outdoor (weather permitting) crowd on the 10th hole of Course #1 at Medinah.

Update on the Ryder Cup Format

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The Ryder Cup follows three different formats of play over the weekend of the competition. The first is the foursomes match play, followed by fourball and then individual singles matches.

The foursomes match play consist of four seperate matches, each featuring a pair of players from both the American and European squad. Each pair alternates shots on the same ball, and the pair with the lowest score on a hole wins that hole. The pair that wins the most holes earns a point for their team. If the match is tied after 18, each team receives 1/2 of a point.

Since only eight of the 12 players get to play in the foursomes match play, that means a few of golf's best have to sit on the sidelines. Most experts believe that because of his long driving ability and clutch putting that St. John's alumnus Keegan Bradley is ideal for this format. Four foursome matches occur on Friday with four more on Saturday.

Also occurring on both Friday and Saturday the fourball matches. The pairings are similar with two Americans and two Europeans in each foursome. However, in this format, all four players play their own ball. The lowest score on a hole wins the hole for that team. Four ball is also played on both Friday and Saturday with both teams using eight players.

The final format is head-to-head singles match play, where all 12 players from each team play against one member from the other team in classic match play. In all cases, if the two teams are tied at the end of 18 holes, each team is awarded 1/2 of a point instead of the full point.

Experts are saying that because of his shot-making ability and his penchant for coming up big in the biggest moments, Bradley could be one of the top point-scorers for the U.S. team this weekend.

Live updates from the STJ team at the course: STJ alum Keegan Bradley played his second practice round with Phil Mickelson at the 39th Ryder Cup today, both decked out in red (pants), white (caps) and blue (shirts) before a crowd of more than 25,000 at Medinah (IL) Country Club just outside of Chicago. On advice from U.S. team veterans Bradley said, "It's comforting as a rookie to know that I can go talk to Jim (Furyk), Phil or Tiger (Woods), or any of these guys and they are there for you and want to help". Tonight's highlights include a gala Ryder Cup dinner and performances by the group Chicago and Justin Timberlake. On Thursday, the Opening Ceremonies will reveal pairings by both U.S. and European squads for the Ryder Cup competition to begin Friday, September 28th through Sunday, September 30th.

Countdown to the Ryder Cup: 3 days!

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With the Tour Championship over, all eyes in the golf world are on the Ryder Cup. One of the biggest story lines in this year's Ryder Cup is how America's group of four Cup first-timers will fare, including St. John's alumnus Keegan Bradley.

Some say that they'll do just fine considering that to get to this point, they've all won on the biggest stages. Bradley is no exception to this rule as the 2011 PGA Champion and a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. He even admitted this week that he has been focusing on this week for a while now, even throughout the FedExCup playoffs.

Others are saying that the Ryder Cup rookies not having played on this stage could be either a good or a bad thing, depending on their mindset heading into the tournament. One thing is for certain though, and that's that Bradley will have possibly his biggest on-tour mentor by his side during the event, as U.S. team captain Davis Love II announced that he would be partnering Keegan with Phil Mickelson.

Remember the last time those two were paired together at a big event?

Countdown To The Ryder Cup: 24 days

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Today was a big day for the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team as captain Davis Love III made his four picks to round out the 12-man squad. Of course, St. John's alumnus Keegan Bradley wasn't sweating on Tuesday as he was one of eight players to automatically qualify after this year's PGA Championship. Bradley - who finished fourth in the final point standings - solidified his spot with his win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and followed that up with a third-place finish in his title defense at the PGA Championship.

The Ryder Cup nod was a big moment for Bradley, who narrowly missed out on the 2011 President's Cup team, with team captain Fred Couples saying that Bradley was the next guy on the list after 2011 FedExCup Champion Bill Haas and Tiger Woods.

The current team, who regularly receives encouragement and advice from the PGA Tour superstar might look to Bradley for a little advice on its opening tournament. The Johnnies will start the fall 2012 campaign with a trip to the Ocean Course at Kiawah, which hosted the 2012 PGA Championship and has been billed as the toughest course in America.

A few of the current members of the team will be checking in with as we get closer to kicking off the 2012 fall slate, so stay tuned to the Eye of the Storm Blog for all of the latest news on the Red Storm and on Keegan Bradley as he finishes up the FedExCup playoffs (he's currently 12th) and gets set for the Ryder Cup.

It's been a busy past couple of days at the MGA's 2012 Met Amateur for several of St. John's men's golfers, especially rising junior Ryan McCormick. After he, rising senior Pat Wilson and rising sophomore Dylan Crowley all made the 16-player match play bracket, McCormick and Wilson were paired up in the first round.

It was a back and forth affair between the teammates and close friends, with Wilson taking a three-stroke lead into the 13th hole. However, McCormick caught fire and took the final five holes of the match to claim a 2&1 victory over Wilson. Crowley also found himself in a battle on Friday against Greg Etimos of Island Hills Golf Club, with the winner slated to play the victor in the McCormick/Wilson clash. Crowley kept it close throughout the day, but a costly bogey on the tough 16th hole at Hollywood Golf Club gave Etimos the 3&2 win.

Exacting a sort of revenge for his teammate, McCormick and Etimos went back and forth for the first eight holes in the quarterfinal showdown, before McCormick took the next four to cruise to a 5&4 win.

In today's semifinal action, McCormick matched up against defending champ Mike Miller of Knollwood Country Club. The two battled back and forth for all 18 holes, but McCormick gained the lead after the fifth hole and never relinquished it to punch his ticket to Sunday's final matchup.

A win on Sunday would give McCormick his third major championship of the summer after he claimed victories at the NYC Amateur and the NJ Amateur. Regardless of the outcome, it has been an impressive summer for the STJ trio as all three made it to the second round of U.S. Open qualifying in June, while Crowley qualified for the U.S. Amateur Pub Links Championship in July and he and Wilson will be playing in the U.S. Amateur Championship in two weeks.

On the PGA Tour, STJ alumnus and 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Keegan Bradley shot a three-under 67 to move just four shots off the lead at this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Bradley moved himself into tomorrow's final group alongside fellow major champions Jim Furyk and Louis Oosthuizen. The trio will tee off at 10 a.m. as Bradley looks for his third PGA Tour victory in just two years on the tour.

For all of the latest updates as McCormick and Bradley go for victory, keep watching the Eye of the Storm Blog and follow the St. John's men's golf team (@STJ_MensGolf) on Twitter, joining the conversation with the hashtag, #stjmg.
The 110th Metropolitan Golf Association Met Amateur kicked off today, with three St. John's men's golfers scoring at or below par to advance to the 16-player match play bracket.Rising junior Ryan McCormick led the way with a 65-72--137(-5) to tie for third. Rising senior Pat Wilson and rising sophomore Dylan Crowley had identical rounds of 68-74--142(E) to tie for 12th.

In the round of 16, teammates McCormick and Wilson will go head-to-head at 7:50 a.m. with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals, while Crowley will face off against Greg Etimos of Island Hills Golf Club in the paring behind them at 8.

Both McCormick and Wilson said they were excited about their matchup, with McCormick saying it "should be a lot of fun." Wilson agreed that it would be fun, but "unfortunately one of us will have to go home early."

Stay tuned to the Eye of the Storm blog for all of the latest updates on the Met Am and follow @STJ_MensGolf on Twitter, joining the conversation with the hashtag #stjmg for all the latest updates from Hollywood Golf Club.

St. John's Alumnus Keegan Bradley's post-round interview as he's two strokes off the pace at the WGC Cadillac Championship at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral.

The First Tee: Ryan McCormick

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Hello to all followers of St. John's Golf! It has been a great winter for us as a team and program as a whole. Here is what we have done for the past few months.

After our season ended in early November, we all took a few weeks off to recharge our batteries. During the winter break, we all headed to a warmer climate to practice and play. Jeremy headed down to southeast Florida and was able to practice with some of our STJ Alumni including Evan Beirne, Mike Ballo, Kevin Velardo and Casey "Seve" Calmi. Mark, who happens to live in Florida, was up in Orlando where he is a member at Isleworth Country Club. Dylan, who lives out in California, was able to fine tune his game while working with his swing coach back home. He also was able to gain valuable tournament experience by attempting to qualify for the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open. Pat and I traveled together and took a ten day trip to Florida to compete in the New Years Invitational in St. Petersburg. Pat played well and finished T-18th. Towards the end of our winter break, Mark hosted a two-man team tournament at Isleworth called the Cosi Bear Challenge. It was a fun way to end our break and also compete against some pros and fellow STJ Golf Alumni. Pat, Jeremy and I were able to make it from the current team and Velardo, Joe Yastrub, and Calmi. Other notables that were at the tournament were PGA Tour player JB Holmes, and Andrew Giuliani.

We welcomed in a new player to the program this spring, Mitch Hadfield. Mitch came over from England and has been a great addition to the team. Fortunately, since we have been at school, the weather has been good enough that we can go out and play. We have been using a lot of different facilities to practice at and also play. Glen Oaks Golf Club has been great to us and we use their outdoor heated hitting bay's to practice and also go out to play on the course. Craig Currier, their superintendent, has done a fantastic job at improving the golf course layout and condition. It is definitely an advantage to be playing at a course like Glen Oaks that is in great condition even in February. We have also used the facility over at Fresh Meadows Country Club, where they have heated hitting bay's. Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of going up to Purchase Golf Club and meeting with Carl Alexander, their Director of Golf. Carl has been a great player in the Met Area for a long time and offered us advice on putting and general golf knowledge. We were able to use the indoor putting facility at the Golf Club that has video cameras to help improve your putting. During that time, we were all able to get some putting help and spent a little time each personally with Carl. As a team, we all greatly benefited from that day. Individually, Pat, Dylan and Jeremy have all gone back up to see Carl for lessons. Another course we have used to prepare for the season is Pelham Country Club. Mike Diffley (82'), who is the Head Golf Professional at Pelham and also our volunteer assistant coach has been a great help to the team and more specifically Pat and I. Mike is a great help in all aspects of the game, but is a great Mental Coach. He has been doing some hypnosis with us and has really been a great help. Pat and I have also been going up to Five Iron Fitness in White Plains to get our body's physically golf ready for the spring. Anthony Renna, who run's Five Iron Fitness, is incredibly knowledgeable and has really helped both Pat and I get ready for the season. Some other courses and facilities that we have used over the last few weeks include Old Oaks Country Club, Seawane Country Club and Spring Rock Golf Center.

For me, personally, heading into our first event, I feel that my game is in an awesome place. It is the most prepared I have ever been heading into a new year. I work a ton with Mike Diffley and he has been so crucial for me, in getting me ready for the year. Going down to Florida and being able to play under competitive pressure was a great experience to head into the spring with. Working with Anthony from Five Iron Fitness has also improved my flexibility, which is something I had struggled with in the past. Also, with the help of the weather up here, I have also been able to get out and play just as much as I would during the late spring, which is a great advantage over a players from other teams that haven't had that experience. I couldn't be happier with my golf game heading into Arizona.

We have a great schedule for this spring as we are heading to Arizona, Puerto Rico, Texas, Philadelphia, Southern California and Florida.  As a team, we are looking forward to this spring and hope to start it off right with great play out in Arizona. We are currently on the outside looking in for our NCAA Regional hopes and look to make a run this spring to set ourselves up with a chance to compete at the NCAA Championships. With the current success of Andrew Svoboda, who finished t-2 at the first Nationwide Tour event of the year, and Keegan Bradley, who finished t-2 at the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open, we hope to bring that momentum to Arizona and come away with a win. Thank you to all of the golf clubs and people who have helped us this winter in preparing for the season, and for all the people who continue to follow our program. Let's go Red Storm!

Ryan McCormick

Keegan Bradley Before Waste Managment Phoenix Open

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St. John's alumnus Keegan Bradley addresses the media before the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.  Bradley shot a 68 (-3) in the first round.

PGA Champion to Fashion Icon: Keegan Bradley

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St. John's Keegan Bradley may have a career after golf as you can see in his recent Tommy Hilfiger photo shoot.

How Keegan Bradley became a PGA Star

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A great look at how Keegan Bradley became a PGA Champion through his own hard work and his family pedigree.

Keegan Bradley's 2011 Rookie of the Year Chances

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Great video from the PGA Tour here breaking down the entire 2011 rookie class.  Guess who they put at the head of the class and the favorite for rookie of the year?

Men's Golf Putting Drill

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One of the men's golf team's favorite drills is the five-hole putt, where each player stand in a circle at a different hole on the practice green.  They then try to putt it in the next hole in the circle.  Once someone makes their putt, they rotate.  The team plays first to five, win by two, and they will sometimes put interesting wagers on it, like doing each other's laundry, which is convenient since they all live in the same house.  You can read more about the men's golf house on here.

Fifth-year senior captain Evan Beirne captured the individual title at the Mission Inn Intercollegiate on Oct. 24. The Red Storm took third and looks to carry its fall success into the 2011 spring season.

STJ MEN'S GOLF: Mission Inn Intercollegiate RD 2

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The St. John's men's golf team enjoyed a 10-stroke improvement in Saturday's second round of the Mission Inn Intercollegiate. The Red Storm heads in the final round in second place, just one shot back of the lead. Peter Ballo was one of five STJ golfers who improved on Saturday.

STJ MEN'S GOLF: Mission Inn Intercollegiate RD 1

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Evan Beirne recaps the first round of the Mission Inn Intercollegiate on Oct. 22. STJ is tied for second, four strokes back. Beirne is tied for third, two strokes back. 

STJ MEN'S GOLF: Pat Wilson On The McLaughlin

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St. John's men's golf sophomore Pat Wilson discusses The McLaughlin and the Red Storm's team chemistry.
Copy of BeirneMetAmateur small.jpg
Heading into the 2010 men's golf fall season, fifth-year senior Evan Beirne looks to build upon an outstanding summer in which he elevated his game to the next level.

Tearing through summer competition, Beirne took home the 7th Russell C. Palmer Cup in late May, won the Hochester Memorial Tournament in mid-June and captured the Met Amateur Championship in the beginning of August.

Beirne can attribute most of his summer success to the continuous hard work he's displayed throughout his campaign as a Johnnie.

"Learning about myself and learning how to handle the pressure of tournaments really helped me get better," Beirne said. "All of it came through hard work and just being patient and staying focused." ... Read More

Just Golfing Around (April 13, 2010)

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St. John's men's golfers Mike Ballo Jr. (in black) and Evan Beirne (in red) show off a few golf tricks during practice on Tuesday.

Just Golfing Around (Feb. 25, 2010)

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St. John's men's golfer Mike Ballo Jr. talks about how pumped he and his teammates are for the start of the 2010 spring golf season! Check out the full version (second installment of MAD MIKE) here.

Just Golfing Around (Feb. 11, 2010)

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St. John's men's golf senior Mike Ballo Jr. takes us on a journey (a short one) to the Sports Underdome in Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Check it out here on twitter or go directly to the video here

Just Golfing Around (Jan. 22, 2010)

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St. John's men's golf senior Mike Ballo Jr. gives an update, discussing what he did over Christmas break and what to expect for the Spring 2010 golf season!

Just Golfing Around (Nov. 12, 2009)

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Check out what St. John's senior Evan Beirne had to say about the men's golf team's fall and spring seasons!


Just Golfing Around (Oct. 16, 2009)

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Check out what St. John's men's golfers Mike Ballo Jr. and Peter Ballo had to say about their recent success and wrapping up the fall golf season next week.


Just Golfing Around (Sept. 24, 2009)

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The 2009 McLaughlin at Bethpage Red provided good start to our season.  I did not finish off the tournament as well as I wanted to and neither did my co-captain Evan Beirne. But a lot of good things came out of it.  Freshman Peter Ballo played very well and showed he can definitely be a factor this year.  Junior Mark Costanza did very well, recording his best college round, a 70. That is very good thats a good starting point for his season.  Senior Dan Mollicone shot a great 72 in his last round to gain confidence going into the next tournaments.

It was cool having my brother, Peter, out there playing with me. I was rooting hard for him from a few holes back. I have confidence in his game I know he will be okay and compete for us.  Evan and I both finished in the top 15 this week, we both look to keep the trend going.  The other players on this team all have the talent to finish in the top 15 week in and out.

Our next tournament is the Wolverine Invitational, running Sept. 26-17, and it is probably our best tourney of the fall. The team is really looking forward to heading up to Ann Arbor, Mich. The course looks great. It will be a real test and the field that's going to be there is really good.

Root hard, STJ golf fans!

- Mike Ballo Jr.


Just Golfing Around (Aug. 23, 2009)

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Day 4

Today was my last practice round over at Cedar Ridge. The golf course is in perfect shape and is also a great test of skill. There are a few funky holes, but the golf course overall plays very long at almost 7,400 yards. Over the past two days I haven't really played all too well, yet today I finally had a practice session that I felt comfortable with and started hitting the ball great. I rediscovered some great swing thoughts and feel really good going into the U.S. Amateur. I am very far from peaking this week, which is good. I have a lot to look forward to.

The highlight of the day was the banquet I just attended. It was a players-only banquet with a few USGA special guests. It was a really nice treat for all the players in the tournament to be there in attendance.  There was a great cocktail hour, followed by a wonderful dinner.

The guest speaker was University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops. He did a wonderful job and it was a pleasure meeting him and listening to him speak.  He really gave the competitors here kudos for what we do, recognizing how challenging golf really is.  Golf gets undermined sometimes. Stoops explained golf as the second-greatest individual test behind boxing. Overall the speech and the banquet were very nice and quite fun.

Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for: Day 1 of the U.S. AM. I'm starting to get excited!

- Mike Ballo

Just Golfing Around (Aug. 22, 2009)

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Welcome to the U.S. Amateur Championship. I finally realized where I was today, the USGA doesn't mess around. Southern Hills is an amazing course, such a great test of golf. It is perfect combination of long par 4s and some of the best short par 4s I've ever played, mixed with an unreachable 675-yard par 5 and par 3s all over 200 yards. This course is a real challenge. I'm excited to really test my game against the best amateurs in the world 

I had a really long day. Left the hotel at 9a.m. and got home at 9 p.m.: practicing, playing and more practicing for 12 hours. I had some food in between as well. I am so tired. 

Tomorrow I go over to the other course, Cedar Ridge, for my practice round there. I've heard from some buddies it's a great place and also very hard. I feel good about my game though.  I hit great tee shots today along with solid iron play and my short game is coming around.  It's difficult to adapt to the new types of shots and grass that need to be played out here in Oklahoma, but I will be fine. 

I'm really impressed by the USGA. No disrespect to the U.S. Junior (Amateur Championship), but it doesn't compare to this. They started putting up all these new decorations for spectators. It's going to be so cool driving in on Monday.  Today I even signed a few autographs!  It was for little kids of course, but people are excited around here for this tournament.

- Mike Ballo

P.S. Thanks again to everyone supporting me, especially my mom, dad, girlfriend and my teammates. 

Just Golfing Around (Aug. 21, 2009)

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Hi, this is Mike Ballo Jr. from the men's golf team.

I'm out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, right now for the U.S. Amateur (Aug. 24-30).  I had totally forgotten how tiring nine hours of traveling is.  Southern Hills Country Club is absolutely beautiful -- a golf course as pristine as I have ever seen before.  Today was strictly a travel day. I didn't get to play any golf, but when I got here I went over to the course to get a peek. I was in awe.

I'm really excited to begin this experience.  I have had a lot of summer success with winning a few tournaments and playing really well.  I hope to keep it all going here in Tulsa.   I have a lot of support coming out here. There are a lot of friends and family cheering me on from back at home.  I can't wait to enjoy the next few days playing golf out here.

My St. John's teammates back home are all excited for me as well.  Mark Costanza, Evan Beirne, Dan Mollicone, Peter Ballo and Jeremy Quinn are all getting ready for this upcoming season starting in September.  We are all ready to get the season going and show everyone how good we can really be as a team.

Tomorrow I'm going to be getting up early to go over, check in and get a full day of practice in. So I'll have a lot more to discuss tomorrow. Right now I really just want to sleep!

- M. Ballo Jr.

P.S. The Outback special in Tulsa, Oklahoma: second to none.

St. John's University Big East NCAA IMG