Bulldogs’ golf takes 1-2 punch into postseason

Chad Ramey of Itawamba AHS, above, and Amory's Barrett Edens have turned Mississippi State's golf program into one of the nation's best over the past two years. (Photos courtesy Mississippi State)

Chad Ramey of Itawamba AHS, above, and Amory’s Barrett Edens have turned Mississippi State’s golf program into one of the nation’s best over the past two years. (Photos courtesy Mississippi State)

edens fingerBy Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

Chad Ramey and Barrett Edens have seen their careers run parallel to one another since they were children.

Ramey was considered one of the state’s top golfers at Itawamba AHS, as was Edens at Amory. It wasn’t until the duo arrived at Mississippi State that they were able to join forces, turning the Bulldogs one of the top programs in the SEC the last two years.

“It’s not really surprising with the amount of talent we’ve had coming from Northeast Mississippi,” Edens said. “We were able to see this coming throughout junior golf and you could see players rising. Me, Chad and Fletcher (Johnson of Tupelo) came out of the same system that has produced some of the better players.”

Both Ramey and Edens have enjoyed success during their careers in Starkville.

Ramey is the program’s only three-time All-SEC selection and has a 71 scoring average as a senior. He has two runner-up finishes this season and has finished in the top 10 in five of the 11 tournaments in which he has played.

“I’ve definitely worked at it pretty hard to get where I’m at,” Ramey said. “It’s a great honor to represent Mississippi State that way. I came here to take care of business and try to do what I could to get better and it’s turned out the way that it has.”

Edens helped the Bulldogs win the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship in early April by firing off a 9 under-par to tie for first place in the tournament with a 207.

“I finally had my first win which is probably one of the most memorable moments of my life,” Edens said. “I’ll always remember that because it was our own tournament.”

Both Ramey and Edens hope to try their hand in the professional ranks after earning their degrees this semester.

But neither will be able to participate in Saturday’s graduation ceremony, as MSU will make its second consecutive postseason bid today through Saturday at the Illinois Regional.

“I won’t be able to walk but that’s fine with me,” Edens said. “I’d rather be at Regionals.”

It is the Bulldogs’ ninth postseason appearance and fourth under head coach Clay Homan. State will join the field of California, Illinois, USC, UAB, UNLV, Clemson, Kent State, Purdue, Cal State Fullerton, New Mexico State, Jacksonville State, Cleveland State and St. Peter’s at the Rich Harvest Farms course in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Nationals

The Bulldogs, who had two tournament victories during the regular season, need a top five finish to advance to the NCAA Championship in Hutchinson, Kan., May 23-28.

“There’s a lot more on the line,” Ramey said. “You either have to finish in the top five or your season’s over. You’ve either got to go play well or you’re done. It puts a little more pressure on everybody.”

Mississippi State played a practice round on Wednesday. The tournament teed off at 8 a.m. today.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com