Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
The Virginia Tech senior feels good about his game as the team seeks to advance.
DAVE KNACHEL | Virginia Tech
Mikey Moyers led the Virginia Tech golf team to a second-place finish in the ACC tournament by finishing second individually.
DAVE KNACHEL | Virginia Tech
Standardsville's Mikey Moyers, a Virginia Tech standout, finished tied for third in the State Open of Virginia this weekend.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The last time Virginia Tech traveled west to participate in an NCAA golf tournament, the anticipated trip of a lifetime transformed into a veritable nightmare for Mikey Moyers.
During the team's flight to Los Angeles for the NCAA championship last May, Moyers suddenly started to feel weak, faint and dizzy.
"I didn't know it at the time, but apparently I was having panic attacks," recalled Moyers, one of the top players in Tech history. "On the plane heading to L.A., that's when I had the worst one."
Three days later, Moyers was struck by another episode in the middle of first-round play at the famed Riviera Country Club.
"I just barely made it," said Moyers, who limped home in a round of 6-over-par 77.
Twenty-four hours later, the lanky Moyers became ill again and was forced to withdraw after nine holes of the second round.
"Man, I couldn't go on anymore," Moyers said.
Still feeling out of sorts, one of Virginia's most celebrated junior players never made it to the starting post for Round 3.
"While it all did creep up on me on the trip, I had noticed," Moyers said. "Now that I look back on it, I had noticed a couple weeks before that in class during tests that I would kind of have those. But it wasn't near that bad.
"I never had them on the golf course and I've played in U.S. Amateurs and other big tournaments. That's why I didn't think it was nerves."
Well, the Hokies are now back again on the far left side of the United States, where the 54-hole NCAA West Regional starts today in Pullman, Wash. Forget the panic attacks this time. The senior from Stanardsville - a rural, one stoplight town about a 30-minute drive north of Charlottesville - is talking "attack" only when it comes to the game plan at Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
Veteran coach Jay Hardwick's 30th squad has been in attack mode most of this season. Tech, ranked 25th nationally by Golfstat.com, has won three tournaments and has finished in the top five of its 11 events. The Hokies tied with Florida State for second, three shots behind champion Duke, in last month's ACC championship.
Moyers paced Tech by tying for second individually, posting rounds of 68-68-70. His 10-under 206 total matched FSU's Chase Seiffert, five shots behind winner Anders Albertson of Georgia Tech. Moyers got plenty of help from his teammates, as sophomore Scott Vincent was sixth at 210, while sophomore Trevor Cone and freshman Maclain Huge each tied for 10th at 213. Junior Bryce Chalkley tied for 29th at 219.
The Hokies carded a blistering 22-under team total of 822 for the 54-hole event.
"We've always been a team that almost played scared, like scared to make bogeys, and you can't do that," said Moyer, the team's senior leader. "Especially playing against teams like Georgia Tech and Duke. That's kindly what I told the rest of the guys, you've got to make birdies because it's going to take 24 or 25 under to win.
"We have to make birdies ... you can't lag putts up there, you've got to give it a chance to go in. I'm not saying you shoot at pins, but if you choose to play to the middle of the green you play to the middle of the green aggressively."
Tech, one of nine ACC teams to earn a regional berth, is the No. 5 seed in Pullman, behind California, TCU, Southern Cal and St. Mary's. The top five teams from each of the six regional sites advance to the NCAA championship, which will be contested May 28-June 2 on the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course, located outside of Atlanta.
Moyers, the 22-year-old elder statesman, said the Hokies are "coming together at the exact right time."
None of the bunch has been hotter than Moyers this spring. The three-time VSGA Junior Match Play champion (2007-09) and two-time VHSL Group AA champ (2007-08) has shot par or better in 12 of 17 rounds. His three top-five finishes are half as many as he recorded in his first three and a half years at Tech
"I've really been focused on just not hitting bad shots and begin aggressive at the same time," said Moyers, whose father, Mike, is the head pro at Stanardsville's Greene Hills Club.
"Just before the winter I really simplified my swing, simplified the game a little bit and realized that if I can narrow my misses, tighten things up a little bit, that it really made a difference. I don't make many bogeys anymore. And short game. Nothing crazy. It's really that my mindset has changed."
After winning countless titles as a junior, Moyers is still looking for his first collegiate victory. Unless Tech makes the NCAA championship, his last chance comes the next three days.
"That definitely bothers me," he said. "A lot of good players never win a tournament in college. Look at the guys who have come through here - Drew Weaver, Brendon de Jonge and Johnson Wagner. Drew and Brendon didn't win, and Johnson didn't win until his last college tournament.
"You know, I told somebody that I wouldn't be mad if I finished second in every tournament from here out the rest of my life. And, sure enough, I started doing that quite a bit and now it's getting a little old. I'm ready to win again."
Pull that off and it will forever erase all the bad memories from last year's foray west.\
Washington State regional
Virginia Tech (No. 5 seed)
Ohio State regional
Virginia (No. 11 seed)
Ji Soo Park
Auburn (No. 3 seed)
Jake Mondy (Blacksburg)
Weather JournalWarmth next 2 days hits icy wall