Franklin Co’s Ferguson stays sharp during sports hiatus

Former prep star is competing for Hampden-Sydney College

Penhook, Va. – He learned how to drive chip and putt at a young age. Over time, former Franklin County state champion golfer, John Hatcher Ferguson, made it a goal to play collegiate golf. That dream became a reality as he signed on to play at Hampden-Sydney College, where in his first year, Ferguson was one of five Tigers that competed in the NCAA D3 Championships in Kentucky. “We’re playing with all the conference winners and all the top teams in the country and it really shows where you match up and what weaknesses you have and strengths you have,” Ferguson said. Ferguson noted the biggest difference he’s come to appreciate is the level of competition at the college ranks. “It was closer packed, the scores overall were a lot lower and I think there was a lot less margin for error if you wanted to finish in top positions,” said Ferguson. His transition to college golf proved to be a successful one after he was named the 2019 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year. “It was definitely an honor to get the award and it was something that I had made a goal. It was neat to pull it off but the guys are always encouraging,” said Ferguson. The Tigers were poised to have another successful run, having been ranked as high as 4th in the Golfstat D3 poll in February. But with spring sports being cancelled, Ferguson says he’s hopeful the team can regroup and bring the same roar next season. “The quarantine period is an opportunity to get better. Hopefully, collectively we can come out of this better than we went in and have this payoff next season for us.” But for now, Ferguson will continue to put his best putt forward as he practices a little closer to home at The Water’s Edge country club. “Certain people are going to come out better than they went in. Other people are going to show they weren’t putting in the right amount of work,” said Ferguson.

About the Authors:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.

John serves as the Sports Director at WSLS 10. From Virginia Tech, to NASCAR and everything in between, WSLS 10 Sports covers the names making big plays in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.