Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Season preview: Hillsborough boys golf

In accordance with the start of another prep golf season, the Times caught up recently with Riverview senior and two-time district champion Ian McConnell for a little Q&A. (We had to do it by phone; McConnell bypassed the first day of school Tuesday to compete in the U.S. Amateur in Tulsa, Okla.)

You qualified for the U.S. Amateur essentially by making a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole of your sectional qualifier (at Avila). At the time, did you realize the putt was for a spot in the field?

"I didn't know it at the time, but once I got in I looked at the scoreboard and noticed I was the last one in. … Me and (caddie Tyler Young) both were kind of walking up to the green and were like, 'This would be a nice one to make.' "

Did you know the putt was going in when you hit it?

"I knew it was on the line I wanted; it was just a matter if it was hard enough."

What's the best round of golf you ever played?

"It was about a month ago now. I can't remember the exact date on it, around the 20th of July. I shot 63 at Summerfield. I made 10 birdies. It's the most birdies I've ever had in a round; six birdies on the back nine. It was just one of those days where the putter just got absolutely hot."

We've talked about your various superstitions before. Refresh us:

"I have plenty of superstitions. … I use a certain ball marker most of the time. A '98 JFK 50-cent piece and '95 quarter. I always have five tees in my pocket when I'm playing. And sometimes, just to mess with people's minds, I wear two different kinds of socks. … I might do it in all the high school matches this year."

What's your outlook for the team this season?

"Ah, man, I would almost say the sky's the limit. … I think it's definitely a year we can make it to states. We have five seniors all capable of breaking 80s on good days. This is as excited as I've been for a high school season."

Teams to watch

Plant: Top four players are seniors, three of whom led Panthers to a district crown in 2008.

Gaither: Four of the top five players on last season's region-qualifying team were underclassmen.

Berkeley Prep: Reigning Class A, District 14 champs return solid nucleus led by junior Blake Morris.

King: Last year's 2A-11 champs move to a tougher district, but the lineup may be deeper.

Chamberlain: Standout junior Gary Buffington leads a veteran team that finished second in its district in 2008.

Five players to watch

Gary Buffington, Jr., Chamberlain: Placed second at 2A-10 tourney as sophomore

Ian McConnell, Sr., Riverview: Two-time district champ has committed to Liberty University

Charles Silverfield, Sr., Plant: Panthers' No. 1 player placed fifth at districts in 2008

Blake Morris, Jr., Berkeley Prep: 2008 district runnerup ranked among nation's top 100 junior players

Cody Tibbets, Sr., Alonso: Finished sixth at last year's 2A, Region 4 meet — on a daunting private course.

Season preview: Hillsborough boys golf 08/25/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Celtics were only team in position to deal for Kyrie Irving

    Nba

    The Cavaliers found themselves in a seemingly impossible situation when it came to trading Kyrie Irving. Not only did Cleveland need to try to extract the kind of price a team looks to get to trade its star — some combination of cap relief, young players and draft picks — it also needed to acquire talent to …

    Kyrie Irving, left, is guarded by Stephen Curry during the NBA Finals last season. [Associated Press]
  2. Browns, who visit Bucs this week, take a courageous step toward social change

    Bucs

    CLEVELAND — The laughingstock of the league during a 1-15 season in 2016, the Browns took a dramatic step forward Monday night.

    Browns players kneel as others stand to support their circle during the national anthem before Monday night's preseason game against the Giants. [Associated Press]
  3. Can Bucs become Tampa Bay's favorite team again?

    Bucs

    Their playoff run came up a tiebreaker short.

    Bucs fullback, Mike Alstott talks to the crowd as he walked along Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa during the Buccaneer victory parade Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2003.Times Photo by: Fraser Hale
  4. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  5. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.