Men's Golf Announces Two Additions for 2017-18 season
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss men’s golf coach Jerry Weeks announced Wednesday the additions of Hunter Atkins (West Point, Miss.) and Brian Richards (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) to the team’s roster for the 2017-18 Golden Eagle season.
Atkins, who preps at Oak Hill Academy and his current coaches include former Golden Eagle VJ Trolio as well as former Southern Miss standout Tim Yelverton, has put together an impressive resume through his play on the prep ranks. Atkins helped Oak Hill win the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class 2A State championship this past spring, capturing the individual state title as well. He won the two-day Pros of Tomorrow golf tournament in Tupelo in July, in which he put up a pair of 70s in the event.
His tournament victories also included the 2014 Future Tour championship as well as the 2015 Greenwood Invitational. Atkins finished 11th in the 2016 Mississippi Junior Amateur with rounds of 74,76 and 71 for a 221 total, while placing 34th in a field of 120 in the 2016 Mississippi State Amateur with rounds of 78, 72, 76 and 70 for a 296.
“We are very excited to welcome Hunter Atkins to the Golden Eagle family. Hunter has been groomed by the best golf instructors in Mississippi, and two of our alums, VJ Trolio and Tim Yelverton. Hunter is a proven winner and he has shown that he is hungry to compete at the collegiate level. Hunter comes from a great family and he is a great young man. We feel that Hunter will be a great addition to our program.”
As for Richards, he attends Gulf Breeze High School and has already put up some solid credentials with his play.
He captured the US Amateur Qualifying tournament with a 71 and 70 in a field of 74 players, while also finishing second in the PGA Jr. Qualifier with a pair of 71s. Richards tallied a victory at the 2015 Florida Junior Tour event at Rocky Bayou Country Club, firing rounds of 70 and 67 to win in a field of 41 players. Richards also has posted four Top 10 finishes on the American Junior Golf Association Tour, as well as four Top 5 showings on the Southern Junior Golf Tour.
“Brian is a very seasoned player with a ton of tournament experience. He has competed all over the nation, including the biggest amateur tournament in the world, the US Amateur. Brian has the ability to post some low numbers which is vital to any college team’s success. Brian is also a great student which will add to our teams academic excellence. Brian is a top notch person and comes from a great family.”
“With the addition of Brian and Hunter along with our returning players, our coaching staff is very excited for what the future has in store,” said Weeks. “These players understand the toughness and hard work it takes to be a Golden Eagle. They have all bought in to what we are doing here and we are excited to see them compete.”