Quick Chat: Trent Phillips – University of Georgia Athletics

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By John Frierson Staff WriterTrent Phillips stands out because he’s a lefty and because the Georgia men’s golf senior wears a glove on each hand when he plays. While both are atypical, it’s Phillips’ talent that shines when you watch him play. Phillips can hit the ball a long way, but he really enjoys thinking his way around a golf course.Earlier this month, Phillips, from Inman, S.C., wrapped up Georgia’s fall season in perfect fashion, pulling away for a six-stroke victory at the inaugural Williams Cup, at the Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C. He shot a final-round 68 to finish the three-round event at 15 under.By earning medalist honors, Phillips received an exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour’s Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh this June. Before that, however, is the Bulldogs’ spring season, which begins in late January, at the Southwestern Invitational in Westlake Village, Calif.During a recent Quick Chat, Phillips talked about closing out the fall with the third win and 19th top-10 finish of his great Georgia career. He also talked about how precious every win is, PGA Tour muscle man and mad scientist Bryson DeChambeau’s effect on the game, the club that’s been in his bag the longest, and much more. Here’s some of what he had to say:Frierson: How did it feel to close out the fall with a win, and can that be a springboard for you going into the spring?Phillips: I’ve been playing some really good golf so I felt like something good was going to happen here recently, but you never know in this crazy game. It’s very hard to win and I felt like I was playing good, so I really wasn’t shocked when I finally broke through and won again.I don’t have many tournaments coming up until the spring but it’s nice to go into Thanksgiving and Christmas having won your last tournament. It’s good vibes, I guess.Frierson: It seems like golf maybe more than any other sport, you just never know. You can play the best you’ve ever played and still not win. And you can have a so-so tournament and still come out on top. How do you deal with golf’s unpredictability?Phillips: You’ve kind of just got to be able to take your wins with your losses. In golf, you’re obviously going to lose a lot more than you win, so you’ve got to be OK with it. But at the same time, losing has got to light a fire under you to do better and to finally get over that hump.You’ve just got to be patient with this game because it’s just not easy to win. It’s hard to win a lot and you’ve got to be patient and keep doing what you’re doing.Frierson: And because those wins are so hard to come by, you never, ever take winning for granted?Phillips: Oh, no, sir. This game with bite you in the butt real quick if you ever take anything for granted.Frierson: What Bryson DeChambeau is doing on the PGA Tour, packing on muscle and going for enormous drives on almost every hole, is that filtering down to college golf?Phillips: Not really. For me, in my four years here, everybody kind of does their own thing. There are some guys that might try to hit it a little harder than others, but for the most part, everyone hits it pretty far, that I’ve seen in college. More people hit it over 300 yards than don’t, in my opinion.I know Bryson’s kind of taken it to a different level with that, but I don’t think there’s anybody in college golf that I’ve seen doing what he does.Frierson: How much do you mess with the clubs in your bag? Are you always trying out new things or do you stick with what you know works for you?Phillips: I’m quick to change but I don’t change a lot, if that makes sense. I’ll try something and mess around with some clubs, but if I like what I like I’m just going to keep using that. If something doesn’t work then I’ll put a new club in the bag immediately. I’m not scared to change clubs, but right now I’ve been playing the same stuff for a while.Frierson: What’s the oldest club in your bag? Which one has been with you the longest?Phillips: I’ve been putting with a 2-Ball putter for quite some time. I putted with it for seven or eight years growing up, then I went away from it for about a year, and now I’m back with it. I probably won’t ever get rid of the 2-Ball.Frierson: What do you do yo get away from golf and school? How do you relax and take your mind off of things?Phillips: I just do what normal people do: I watch a lot of sports, work out, hang out with my girlfriend, and kind of just do everyday stuff.Frierson: We’ve got Thanksgiving coming up in a couple of weeks, so what is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?Phillips: Definitely ham. I love ham — I don’t eat it but on Thanksgiving but I really like it when my mom makes it. She puts some kind of sauce or something on it and it’s really good.Frierson: Have you ever had a hole-in-one? If so, can you tell me about your first one?Phillips: I know it’s going to sound weird but I think I’ve had one. That sounds really weird.Frierson: It does.Phillips: It was in high school and we were playing a practice round for our state championship, at Furman. I hit this 7-iron and it never left the stick (flagstick), and I just never saw it. It literally went right over the top of the flag and I’m thinking, there’s a hazard back there. I’m thinking, did I fly the green. I go over the green and look in the hazard, and then I go look in the hole. And there’s a ball in the hole.I think I flew it in and didn’t see it.Frierson: Is that a bit of a letdown because you didn’t really get a chance to celebrate it?Phillips: Yeah, I would have loved to have seen it fly in. It was so quiet that you think you would have heard it; I think it flew directly into the bottom of the hole. It was weird.(This Q&A was lightly edited for length and clarity.)Assistant Sports Communications Director John Frierson is the staff writer for the UGA Athletic Association and curator of the ITA Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame. You can find his work at: Frierson Files. He’s also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.


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