Flames NewsFlames Home > Golf Home > News
Golf Alums Succeed at Virginia State Open
Current Liberty Head Men's Golf Coach Jeff Thomas and 2000 Big South medalist Yong Joo both posted top five finishes at last weekend's Delta Dental State Open of Virginia.
The pair, who are both graduates of Liberty's men's golf program, positioned themselves to make a run at the state open title, which was contested at Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke, Va.
The two played together in the penultimate group during the final round on Saturday and closed with a pair of sub-par rounds. However, their efforts were not enough to catch ultimate event winner Jay Woodson, who posted a winning score of eight-under par 208 (69-69-70) to claim his third-straight state title.
Joo, who graduated from Liberty in 2001 and now teaches at the DPGolf Academy in Manassas, Virginia, finished the event in fourth place with a three-under par 213 (67-76-70). He was the clubhouse leader following open round action as he fired a five-under par 67 on the par 72, 7,294-yard course.
Joo became Liberty's first-ever Big South Men's Golf Championship medalist in 2000. He claimed victory at Greenwood Country Club in Greenwood, S.C., with a seven-under par 209 (63-73-73). He opened the conference championship event with a nine-under par 63, which is still the lowest 18-hole total in program history and ties for the lowest in Big South Championship history.
Thomas, a 1995 graduate of Liberty's golf program, finished one shot behind his Sunday playing partner and fellow program alum with a two-under par 214 (73-70-71) to finish in fifth place overall.
Joo and Thomas' time at Liberty did not overlap. Joo played four years at Liberty (1998-01) and was two years removed from the program when Thomas returned to his alma mater as an assistant men's golf coach in 2002.
Since being named head coach in May 2004, Thomas has orchestrated the development of Liberty's men's golf program into a perennial top 40 program.
Liberty has won 13 of the program's 24 NCAA Division I team titles under Thomas' direction, including three Big South titles (2011, 2012 and 2014) and the 2012 NCAA Greensboro Regional title.
Liberty has advanced to four-straight NCAA Regionals, spotlighted by a 10th place finish at the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf National Championship in Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.
This past season, Liberty claimed it third Big South title in the last four years and finished the season ranked No. 35 in the country by Golfstat and No. 38 by Golfweek.