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Bulldogs swinging for win at LSU Invitational

March 29, 2012

 

DEREK J. AMAYA
Sports Reporter

 

Louisiana Tech’s men’s golf team will travel south to contend in the LSU Invitational hosted by LSU Saturday and Sunday at the University Club in Baton Rouge.

 

The Bulldogs finished second to LSU in the Argent Financial Classic March 13 and ended the day in fifth place at the Border Olympics on March 17.

 

Head coach Jeff Parks said the team needs to continue to play the way it has all season and keep practicing on shots they have missed in the past.

 

“We need to try to keep our confidence and stay focused on winning,” he said. “We need to play to our strengths and perform better than the other teams on the course.”

 

This will be the first time the team has played at the newly renovated golf course, but they know it will not be an easy course to play on.

 

Senior Cody Blankenship, whose average is 72.4 strokes, said he is anxious to try out the new course and knows the team will be able to compete against ranked teams such as No. 21 LSU, No. 28 UT-Chattanooga and No. 35 Iowa.

 

“We need to go in with more confidence,” Blankenship said. “We need to play like we belong there with them. Golfers from LSU come from the same area as us. We need to stop acting intimidated.”

 

Blankenship suffered an arm injury in a snowboarding accident just after Christmas 2010, which almost ruined his golf career. But he was able to come back as a walk on for the Bulldogs after surgery and extensive rehab.

 

“It took a lot of rehab,” he said. “I worked two hours every day for months trying to get my strength back. When I was injured, I had time to think about what was wrong with my game and how to come back better.”

 

Parks said Blankenship sitting out his junior year gave him time to think about the game and be able to learn from watching his teammates.

 

“He is playing his heart out,” Parks said. “It is a good story of perseverance. To be able to play again has been a blessing for him.”

 

Junior Sam Forgan, who is second in average strokes with 72.6, said he is also eager to play in the invitational and return the favor of beating LSU at their home course.

 

“We just need to stay really patient,” he said. “Just try to stay focused on our game plan and not worry about the other teams.”

 

He said last time they played LSU, they only lost by seven strokes, which was nothing when you add the 800 strokes they play on a regular basis.

 

“We need the odd break here and there,” he said. “A bit of luck of the draw. Yes, they are 20th in the nation, but we need to concentrate on we know we can beat them at.”

 

For more updates on men’s golf and other sports follow www.twitter.com/techtalksportsdesk.

 

Email comments to dja014@latech.edu.

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