By Chris King, Chattanooga, Tenn.–Redshirt sophomore Stuart Thomas, from Knoxville, started off the 2015 golf season well with a fourth-place finish in the VCU Shootout.

“I played the game that I knew how to play and it ended up working out for me,” said Thomas. “I can’t complain, I took a lot of positives away from the first tournament.”

Thomas finished the final round with an even-par 72 making his 54-hole total of 4-under par 212. That score put him six shots off the lead of Maryland’s Tom Harris at -10.

Photo by Chattanooga Athletics: Sophomore Stuart Thomas.
Photo by Chattanooga Athletics: Sophomore Stuart Thomas.

Thomas began his day with four straight pars before a bogey on the Par 3 eighth. His game turned around in a hurry with a birdie on 11, and an eagle on the 12th. He got his total to -7 after a birdie on 15 that put him to within two of Harris who was at -9.

I was so ready to get out there,” said Thomas.  “I’m glad that I could post a good score.”

After bogeys on 18, one and two, Thomas would drop back to -4 and he would finish the day with a par on hole three. The fourth-place finish and -4 score are new career bests for Thomas.

Thomas sat out the 2014-15 season redshirting where he worked on many different aspects of his game including short game and a swing change that proved to be helpful during the VCU Shootout.

“I spent my whole redshirt season working on my wedges and on the mental part of my game,” said Thomas. “You can really control how you act and respond on the golf course and being mentally prepared is a vital part of the game.”

During Thomas’s redshirt season, he managed to post a 4.0 GPA in the fall earning Dean’s List and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll both semesters.

During the 2013-2014 season, Thomas played in eight events, five coming as an individual. He averaged a score of 75.50 and had four par or better rounds with a low of 70. His career low 54-hole score of 224 came as individual at Pinetree Intercollegiate. He also recorded the Dean’s List along with Athletic Director’s and SoCon Honor Rolls.

Looking forward, Thomas and the Mocs travel to, Raleigh, N.C., for the Wolfpack Fall Open on October 5 and 6. Thomas hopes that he can continue his success, as a team and individual, with a big performance at the upcoming tournament.

“I am really looking forward to the rest of the season for our guys, we have a good mentality as a team,” said Thomas. “We have come a long way, and we just have to get the job done.”