February 24 was a special day for the Love family.
Alabama’s Dru Love captured his first ever college tournament win at the Puerto Rico Classic, tying Virginia Tech’s Scott Vincent at 7-under par. On the same day his dad, Davis Love III, was named the United States Ryder Cup captain. Love went on to have an up and down first season of competition for the Crimson Tide and finished third on the team for an average score just above par. As a redshirt junior, Love looks to carry a lot more responsibilities on the team.
“I played really good some weeks and I played really bad some weeks,” Love said. “I have to figure out how to extend my good play throughout the year. I know I’m going to have bad weeks. I want to make it less of a roller coaster.”
Coach Jay Seawell said he was still pleased with Love’s results. It was his first season competing with the national champion lineups being so deep the two previous years. With several of the players graduating, it gave Love a chance to compete for a spot in the lineup.
“I think he learned that he is a good player. I think he gained a lot of confidence in his play, even though there were times it may have been a little erratic,” Seawell said. “For the most part he played really well and he had a really good summer. I think it spring-boarded his summer.”
Seawell said Love was similar in high school. He said he was inconsistent, but he knew that Love had enough talent to become a great player. It is different for a junior golfer growing up with a successful pro golfer as a dad. Expectations are sometimes unrealistic. Seawell said that Love didn’t let that define him.
“Golf reveals character. So when we make a decision on somebody, talent is definitely on the ledger, but the other part of the ledger is what did we see in their character during that time. Never will talent out-trump our character, so that’s what we saw in him,” Seawell said. “I think he is respectful of others. He’s not entitled, believe it or not, which is something I worried about by being a pro son.”
Seawell believes in his talent though and believes that he can improve off of last year’s season.
“I think he has a chance to be an All-American and an All-SEC performer,” Seawell said. “Those are the things we’ve talked about, those are the things I’m challenging him with. Can he make those day-to-day commitments mentally and physically.”
Love has also become great friends with some of the teammates and has helped build the family culture of the team that senior Tom Lovelady expressed is very important.
“Everybody on our team, we are best friends, but Love and I just kind of click together,” Lovelady said. “We have fun and laugh. We like the same things and don’t like the same things. He is just a really good friend to have, and I’m just lucky to be on the team with him and be around him all the time”
The Crimson Tide’s first tournament of the season begins Friday, Sept. 11 at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Dalton, Georgia. Alabama will be without All-American Robby Shelton after he was named to the United States Walker Cup team. Shelton will compete in England this weekend against some of the best young golfers all around the world. With his departure, Love will likely move up to a higher position.
“I’m looking forward to see how he handles it because there is going to be a little bit more pressure on him by his own want to, because he knows Robbie isn’t here,” Seawell said. “I think he will do great actually. I think he does better when more is placed upon him. So I’m looking forward to see how he performs with that light on him.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports