Sophomore golfer Lee Bedford takes time out of his busy week to talk to Blogger So Dear about his season, the upcoming ACC Tournament at Old North State this weekend and some of his favorite golf-related things.
Click through to read the interview with Lee...
BSD: First of all, thanks for taking the time out of your week to meet with us before the ACC Tournament this weekend.
Bedford: No problem, thanks for having me.
BSD: You have been playing very well this year with a 73.0 stroke average over 28 rounds. You also have 3 straight top ten finishes (with an astonishing 63) and a win in February. Can you talk about your win earlier in the year at the Wexford Intercollegiate as well as the rest of this year and how it has gone according to your expectations?
Bedford: I’ve been working on some swing changes and my hands were too far in, and I have been trying to get them farther out to get consistent contact. That was the first tournament (the Wexford Intercollegiate) that it all came around. I struck the ball very well. I didn’t putt very well, but I guess I did well enough to get the job done. This season I have been playing solid. Ball striking has been right there where I want it and not a whole lot of complaints.
BSD: What have you done differently this year after having a year under your belt in collegiate golf to become a better golfer?
Bedford: My experience has been the key. Going from last year to this year, I am familiar with all the tournaments now. I have played all of the courses before. You remember from last year all of the tricks and changes and the tricky breaks, as well as what you can and cannot do around the green. It is always good to have extra information and know how to navigate your way around the course. It makes it easier to prepare for each event because you are going to have to get up and down no matter how well you hit it. Some courses are scoring courses and you have to hit it close and make birdies. It’s like the tour, those that have played the same course for 15 years know what to do and that’s how they make their cash.
BSD: How has playing for Coach Haas been, and what type of impact has he had on your career so far?
Bedford: Coach is almost like another member of the team. He is just a big kid basically. He came to college and played some golf along the way, went pro and then came right back to college. We all enjoy it as much as he does too. Coach Haas comes from a great golfing family, and he has been around the game a long time. Personally, he has helped me a lot with my short game. His short game is incredible. Just chipping around with him and learning from his shots has helped my short game come a long way since I got on campus. Coach is the man. It’s one of the main reasons I came here. The coach and the school are just perfect for me.
BSD: Last year Wake Forest finished 4th as a team in the ACC Tournament and you finished at -4 par, which was good enough to tie for 6th. Does Old North State Golf Club seem to fit your eye as a golfer? What are your individual and team expectations for the week?
Bedford: If you were to describe my game in a golf course it could very well be Old North State. It’s a good ball striking course and I’m a good ball striker. It’s a shot makers course and you have to hit it at the flags and be in the right place on the greens. It’s an overall course and doesn't play very long. If you hit a lot of solid shots you make a lot of birdies, but if you hit bad shots you can get in trouble off the tee. I am excited to play and I feel like I have a chance to win, of course. I wouldn’t play golf if I didn’t think I could win every event I play in. I have high expectations for the team and individually. The ACC is wide open this year and there is a lot of competition as to who is going to take the trophy home.
BSD: Can you talk about the dynamic of the team in general? Are you all really good friends off the course as well?
Bedford: I think we have good chemistry. We are all a little different, but we all get along. We all play in the tournaments and strive for the same goal. Off the course we all work hard and we all want the same thing. I like all of my teammates and couldn’t ask for a better set of them.
BSD: I haven’t had a chance to personally see the golf center, but I have seen pictures of it and it looks outstanding. How do you think the new center will help take the Wake Forest golf program to new heights?
Bedford: I think they have done some amazing things. The new video equipment they have in there is great. We are going to have a $40,000 piece of a equipment that will track your ball flight. You can treat your game in any way necessary. You can look at good shots and see the spin on the ball. You can create different shots and do many different things. The way it was before, there wasn’t a lot to do except go hit ball after ball. With the way it is now, we can go to several different stations, several different tees. It’s going to be great to play around with. We can play different games and play around with some friends and get better while having a good time. Go to the middle of the range and look around to hit at 10 different flags. You can do back-to-back shots instead of the same shot over and over. It can only help us reach better heights overall.
BSD: If you had to choose one club which one would you pick and why?
Bedford: That’s a good question. I would probably have to say my 6-iron because it is the club in my bag that if I could have one club to play a round of golf it would be a 6-iron. I can just do so many different things with it and I strike it better than any other club probably because I practice with it the most.
BSD: What is your all-time favorite golf course and why?
Bedford: I would have to say Augusta. I will hopefully get a chance to play there pretty soon, but it is always almost perfect. It is home to the most prestigious golf course in America with the Masters.
BSD: What is your pre-round ritual?
Bedford: I don’t really have a practice ritual because we get out of class and go straight to Old Town to hit balls and play. In tournaments I will get a feel for the greens by putting. Then I will warm up and putt some more. Work on shorter putts and put myself in situations where I have to make a birdie or get up and down for a par. I have to make two ten foot putts before I can go tee off. That puts me in the right frame of mind to go out there and execute on the golf course in the manner that I want to. The visualization helps me a lot.
BSD: If you could have dinner with 3 people who would they be?
Bedford: I would have to say Jesus Christ because he is the Lord and Savior. Tiger Woods because he is the best golfer of all-time. Last would be my dad because he has been the most supportive of me in golf and life out of anybody. It would be certainly be entertaining but I would like to get the chance to see it happen.
BSD: It has been fun talking with you Lee, and also a privilege. Thanks again for taking the time to meet with Blogger So Dear and we wish you the best of luck this weekend that the ACC Tournament, and beyond.
Bedford: Thanks a lot Riley, any time.
The Wake Forest mens't golf team plays in the ACC Tournament at Old North State Golf Club this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check back in over the weekend for recaps, and live updates from the tournament.