A new head coach has the Purdue men’s golf team believing it can make its first NCAA tournament since 2005. Rob Bradley, who brings a winning pedigree to the program, won a national championship with Alabama last season as an assistant coach.
“We had a good team last year at Alabama and we are using the same system we used there here at Purdue,” said Bradley.
Of two events this season, the team has placed second and fourth, respectively. Bradley thinks so highly of the team this year, he said he would not be surprised if anyone from the team wins a tournament this season. Even though Bradley likes the talent level of the team, he still sees room for improvement.
“We have worked a lot on our short game, wedge play and putting,” Bradley said. “I think we need to get better at playing on the road rather than at home.”
As well as technical skills, Bradley also noted that the team needs to increase its confidence.
“I’ve seen players at every level and I know that this is a very talented team, so it’s my job to let them know how good they are,” Bradley said.
Within the team’s sea of talent, Bradley noted that senior Adam Schenk is one of the leaders that he can rely on. Schenk, who finished tied for tenth at the Weibring Invitational this year, thinks this team may be special. The farthest that Schenk has ever gone while at Purdue is the regional tournament.
“All of the teams I have played with the past three years have been good, but I think this year we could at least make a run for a Big Ten championship,” Schenk said.
Schenk noted that the biggest obstacles in the way of a Big Ten championship are Illinois University, who won last year, Michigan and Iowa.
This weekend, however, the team faces top tier talent at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. Bradley’s former team Alabama will be competing there along with No. 23 Kent State.
Bradley stresses that to compete with top talent like those two programs, Purdue’s players just need to stick to what they have been working on so far this season.
“We can’t control what other teams do, we can only control what we do. We just need to work on the same things,” Bradley said.