SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Even here at the Landings, no one can escape the madness of March.
Nearly all of the 16 teams left in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament are also represented this week at the Savannah Golf Championship.
“It’s always a big year when you’re the best team,” Max Greyserman laughs. His Duke Blue Devils are the favorite to win the title. “You always expect big things.”
“Ever since I’ve been growing up, this time of year is always all about Kentucky basketball,” says former Wildcat golfer Mark Blakefield.
“It’s pretty fun,” Zach Wright notes of his LSU Tigers. “We’ve got some athletes, so we’ll see what happens.”
The players admit they aren’t letting their time on the course interfere with their fandom. Take Andrew Novak for example.
His Wofford Terriers hoped to knock off Kentucky last week and continue their Cinderella run. But Novak wasn’t able to see most of it.
He was on the course, competing in the Louisiana Open.
“It was tough,”he says. “I was asking people in the crowd for score updates. We almost pulled it out."
It’s not hard to spot who is repping who. Most players with college ties sport their team pride right on their golf bag. This week at the Landings, logos for LSU, Oregon, Tennessee, Duke, Virginia Tech, and more can be found.
While that can lead to the sharing of common admiration from the fans, it can also result in some friendly smack talk.
“You go across the country, and people love to hate Duke,” Greyserman admits. “I expect it though. It’s alright.”
But as Novak found, golf and basketball can sometimes create dilemmas for the pros, such as Danny Walker’s conundrum.
The former Virginia Cavalier tees off at 7:40 a.m. Friday morning, putting Walker at the course around 5:00 a.m. But his UVA team plays in Thursday night’s late game, one that could easily run past midnight and force Walker to skimp on sleep.
“I guess I have to think, what’s more important: Virginia basketball or my golf?" he jokes.
Walker says he’s wrestling with the options of not watching the game and resting, watching the first half before going to bed, or just staying up until the final horn.
"If I watch the first half and it’s close, I probably won’t be able to sleep,” he admits.