Bryan and Tim Derdenger return to the GW men’s golf team for their third consecutive season this year. The twin brothers from Scottsdale, Ariz., have been playing golf competitively since they were seven years old, and have excelled at GW since they joined the team in 1998.
Last year Bryan Derdenger led the Colonials with the best scoring average on the team while Tim maintained the third-best average.
Attributing their early interest of the sport to their father, Bryan and Tim said they enjoyed playing competitively in junior tournaments and local competitions since they were young.
I come from a golfing family, Bryan said. I have always been pushed by both my brother and my sister.
During their sophomore year in high school, Bryan took the number one scoring position on the team and Tim followed with a close second. They led their team to a pair of state championship titles and four regional championship titles.
Throughout each season the twins coached each other and pushed one another through practices and competition.
We have always been right behind each other, Bryan said. When Tim is out, it hurts me and my playing because he gets me motivated and helps me do my best out there.
In high school the twins were given an opportunity to showcase their talents in junior competitions around the country. Teams from all over the world came to the United States to compete in these tournaments. Starting out in local matches, the twins were soon moving up to competition at a national level.
The twins said they did not originally plan to attend the same university.
My brother was looking at Lehigh (University), Purdue (University), GW and the University of Arizona, Bryan said. I was looking at Ohio State (University), GW, St. Johns (University) and the University of Arizona. In the end, the twins mutually agreed that GW was the place for them.
The brothers’ father graduated from GW Law School and their mother worked for a GW professor.
Head Coach Scott Allen discovered the twins as a result of their impressive high school performance records and offered them both positions on the golf team.
It is difficult to recruit for the sport at GW, Allen said. The school is both challenging academically as well as expensive, which makes it easier to recruit at many of the larger state schools. However, it is rewarding to get two players like Bryan and Tim because I knew they are good students and they play the sport really well.
Bryan responded right away, earning the team’s Most Valuable Player award in his freshman year. He was also inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and was recently inducted into the University Honors Program.
Tim Derdenger played his best at the Kingsmill Invitational in March when he shot a 149, good enough for 11th place. He also shot a 154 at the Caves Valley Invitational, finishing eighth overall and two shots behind his brother.
But Tim Derdenger suffered a setback this past summer when he was involved in a car accident.
A woman on the freeway didn’t see that I was stopped, Tim said. She hit me and I was squished in between two cars. My shoulder and my neck suffered the most from the accident. I couldn’t practice for two months. I am playing now and practicing, but I’m far from where I want to be. I love the game and it’s frustrating at some points.
Tim plays for three days and takes three days off as part of his recovery. He said he is still positive about this upcoming season.
I am very confident about this year, Tim said. I would like our team to make a run at the conference title. As a personal goal I would like to capture the GW record for top five tournament finishes.
The twins both share a talent and a love for the game, but they have different approaches.
Being twins, people assumed that they are similar, Allen said. But Bryan is a bit more free-wheeling. Tim is a more conservative player.
The Derdengers add a winning combination of talent and experience for GW, and Allen said he looks for big things from them.
I’m really excited for this season, Allen said. I see it as a really good opportunity to play top teams and beat them. Both Bryan and Tim are consistent and I know that I will be able to count on them.