By Jeff Thompson
From high school to college, Brent Barry and Kody Alexander have always had a rivalry on the golf course. Now the rivalry has come to a truce as both play together this season.
It all started back in high school, when Barry attended Jackson Christian School and Alexander attended Liberty Techology Magnet High School. Both Jackson natives earned All-State honors twice in high school.
Barry continued his golf career while earning his degree at Union University, helping his team win three TranSouth golf titles. He also was honored as TranSouth Golfer of the Year for the past two consecutive seasons.
Alexander also continued playing golf. While attending the University of Memphis, he qualified for the United States Amateur Championship with back-to-back 66s at Colonial Country Club’s North Course.
He also helped his team win the conference title that ultimately propelled it to the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship Tournament.
Barry and Alexander now have the opportunity to play on the same team as Barry finishes his senior year in sports management and Alexander begins his master of business administration at Union.
Both players are excited about the chance to work together with hopes of qualifying for the National Christian College Athletic Association Golf Championship in October.
“It’s an honor to have Kody on the team because he’s not only a great golfer but he’s also a great guy,” Barry said. “I genuinely want him to do his best on every hole, because he is just a great friend and a great teammate.”
Alexander echoed Barry’s remarks.
“Being able to compete at such a high level and still have the focus toward God is really something that I have wanted, and I think this is going to be a good year for all of us,” Alexander said. “I grew up playing golf with these guys, and so coming out of Memphis I was really looking for a place that had a really good team atmosphere and that was really driven to perform well.”
The team already has set the tone for this season by winning its last two tournaments.
At the Darrell Forman Classic, hosted by Delta State University, Barry led the team with a record-setting first round 63 (9 under), which helped the team win the tournament by 18 strokes.
All five of the Union players finished in the top 13 and finished at par or better at the end of the tournament.
At the annual Greystone Cup Tournament playing against Trevecca Nazarene University, Union’s Kyle Long, Charlie Pittman, Kody Alexander, Ben Waits and Brett Barry finished strong in the final individual head-to-head round to give Union the 8-4 victory.
With only two tournaments left before the NCCAA Championship, team members continue to push themselves.
“I think it’s a very special opportunity to be a part of this first year of the real transition,” Barry said. “I think it’s really neat that we get the chance to set a good foundation in the Gulf South Division II as a whole. I feel very honored to get the opportunity to let others know that Union Golf is ready to compete with the best out there.”