• Matt Scher

MEN’S GOLF SWINGS ITS WAY FORWARD

The Olivet men’s golf team already has embarked on the 2017-2018 season and is looking for its first conference title since the 2008-2009 season. During that time, the Comets were led by Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Gary Morrison.

This season is the third under Coach Bill Maas, who took over the program from Kevin Allard in 2015. Maas has also been coaching the women’s golf team for the past 15 seasons.

When it comes to the future of men’s golf at Olivet College, Maas is optimistic.

“We have a group of players now that are more serious about what they are doing [on the course] and are more interested in being successful,” Maas said in a sit-down interview. “I don’t know what happened before we took over with the old coaching staff, but I believe that when you have a staff that is more committed to the program, the golfers are also more committed to the program.”

The freshmen class is highlighted by Nick Hoffman, who so far this season has a stroke average of 78.5, 18-hole average, which leads the team. The secret to success for Hoffman has been his will to win this year.

“I am a fierce competitor who hates losing. I believe I also hit the ball very far and am good with my irons,” Hoffman said. He also doesn’t shy away from his weaknesses and areas that need improvement. “Probably my temper [on the course] and my chipping is what I need to improve on.”

“Nick [Hoffman] is the one golfer who really jumps out at me to make a big splash as a freshman this year and has the potential to be very good for us,” Maas said about his freshman golfer.

A key returner for the Comets is senior team captain Tanor Blowers, who is coming off a hot 2017 Spring season that saw Blowers lower his stroke average to 77.5 from 82.3 through 18-holes in the 2016 Fall season. Through two individual events this season, Blowers has a stroke average of 80.3, according to olivetcomets.com.

“My strong suit has been my short game,” Blowers said about his season so far. “My weaknesses so far is hitting the green regulary with consistency.”

Maas had this to say about his senior captain, “As a coaching staff, we would love to see Tanor [Blowers] make a big statement in his senior year. We are very confident in him and he is very talented and we would like to see his scores reflect his ability.”

Other returners include seniors Joey Richmond and Austin Ward and sophomore Zach Sturgill. The team has four returning golfers from the previous season, and has added five freshmen