Bramlett, Edmunds and Lipham all win conference awards for LC golf

Published 8:05 am Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Another school year at LaGrange College has wrapped and with it, another athletic season is in the book. The golf program enjoyed another successful season as they continue to make strides under head coach Shannon Lipham. The individual awards are flooding in with three Panthers winning major conference awards —- Lipham won Coach of the Year, Ian Bramlett earned CCS Rookie of the Year and Jeremy Edmunds was selected to the All-Conference first team.

“It’s important that these guys see some reward for the hard work,” Lipham said. It’s really the only sport that has split season where both seasons actually count for something, We’ll start practicing mid-August, and then we’ll go hard on to until November and then our offseason kind of hits, but they’re still going to be practicing, they’re still going to be working out and then come early February, we’re practicing again, and then we start traveling in late February.

“Playing college golf is a lot of work. To be truly great at it, you have to almost approach it like a job and for some of these guys to get recognized it’s really important to give them some confidence 

Lipham guided the Panthers to a Top 25 regional ranking after finishing in the top ten in seven different events this season. Heading into his fourth season in charge of the program, Lipham is less concerned with individual accolades for himself and is much more focused on the team.

“Feel free to mention that I won coach of the year, but I’m much more excited about these guys getting recognized,” Lipham said. 

In just over 21 rounds, Bramlett shot a 75.5 average. The rising sophomore will be expected to take his game to another level in his second campaign with the Panthers.

“At times he made some typical freshman mistakes, but you can see how much potential he has,” Lipham said, “He had a strong season and it will give him a lot to build on.”x

Edmunds is the leader of the program on the links. He most recently secured his third top-ten finish when he tied for fifth place in the CCS Golf Championship. The Charlotte, N.C. native had his best season yet as a sophomore and will look to take the step to becoming one of the truly elite golfers in Division III as a junior.

“Jeremy Edmonds is very close to being one of the best players in the country. There’s no doubt about that,” Lipham said. “In fact, in our last three tournaments, this spring, he had three top 10 finishes. If he put balls here and there, and he could have contended in all three of them.”

The Panthers are a youth-filled squad which leaves the program even more optimistic for the coming seasons.

“Even Jeremy, as good as he played, he made some young person mistakes that, you know, going forward, he’s not going to make again,” Lipham said, “That’s what I’m going to attribute the struggles in the spring was our inexperience showing a little bit sure.

“At times it was a struggle this year as we were still extremely young,” Lipham said. “I was playing three sophomores and two freshmen for the entire year. So yeah, there definitely some ups and downs, but the fact that those two got recognized was really good.”

There is still a lot for the program to build on, including a strong fall season.

“In the fall, we had three top-five finishes out of four tournaments, and then came back from the offseason and didn’t play as well in spring,” Lipham said. “We certainly showed some signs last fall that we can compete.” 

Lipham is happy with the progress his team has made since he took over, but will not be content until the Panthers are once again in the conversation for the National Championship.

“I expect us to be able to win another tournament or two next year, I expect us to compete for a conference championship. We still have a ways to go before we can compete for national championships, not saying it can’t happen. But you know, we do have to get a little better before we can seriously have that conversation.”

Sophomore international star Martin Prlender was selected to the CCS All-Sportsmanship Team. The Argentina native enjoyed a strong second season with the Panthers while also displaying remarkable sportsmanship on the course.