McDonnieal anxious to play in nationals

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 21, 2007

WESSON — For Co-Lin’s Grant McDonnieal, the long wait isfinally over. After qualifying for the NJCAA Division II NationalGolf Tournament over a month ago, McDonnieal departed today for thenationals.

“I’m ready to get it over with,” said McDonnieal. “I’ve beenwaiting for over a month.”

The 4-day tournament will be held at the Goose Pond Colony GolfCourse in Scottsboro, Ala. Practice rounds on the 6900-yard, par-72course will be held today and Monday. Tournament play beginsTuesday and runs through Friday.

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McDonnieal said he has bee practicing nearly every day andplaying in some small tournaments. He, along with Co-Lin golf coachRonny Ross and assistant coach Craig Hennington will make thetrip.

“Coach Ross has helped me a lot with my short game, especiallymy putting and chipping.” said McDonnieal. “He has helped with themental aspects of golf, mainly course management.”

McDonnieal uses Titleist irons, drivers, fairway woods andwedges. He relies on a Yes putter. His driver has an 8.5-degreeloft because he has a tendency to hit the ball high. He uses aTitleist Pro-V ball.

In the state/regional tournament, McDonnieal placed second witha 2-day total of 72-76–148 at the Wolf Hollow Golf Club.

He has signed a golf scholarship with Delta StateUniversity.

Since his high school days at Brookhaven, McDonnieal has had theopportunity to concentrate on golf. A starting center on theBrookhaven’s Class 4A state championship football team and acatcher/first baseman on the 4A state title baseball team in 2004,McDonnieal (6-2, 230) has lost nearly 40 pounds since then.

“Grant is a really good player,” said Coach Ross. “With hislimited experience, he is very good. He spent a lot of time playingfootball and baseball in high school.

“He is a pleasure to coach,” Ross continued. “He’s alwaysworking on his game. He’s a good representative for Co-Lin andLincoln County. He hits the ball really straight and has prettygood length.”

“If his chipping and putting are on, he will shoot a good scoreevery time out.”

A banquet will be held Monday night, welcoming the tournamentparticipants and their coaches..

The George Cobb-designed course sits on the banks of theTennessee River and has received a four star rating from GolfDigest. Goose Pond Colony yardage will play 6900 to a rating of71.7, slope 125.