Austin Ryan shines as Hawks win silver at Toronto invitational

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Graphic by Alan Li

Men’s golf team win silver at Toronto invitational

The Wilfrid Laurier University men’s golf team earned a podium finish at the Toronto Invitational as they won the silver medal.

The competition was held Oct. 6-7 and it marked Laurier’s second podium finish this year.

The Hawks got great performances from the entire team, especially Austin Ryan, who finished second in the individual standings to boot.

The Owen Sound native mentioned that the experience of competing at the course last year was the key behind his excellence this year.

“For me, it helped that I played that course last year and I learned some valuable lessons,” Ryan said. “I didn’t play that well last year because the course is quite difficult, but this year, I played small ball and I didn’t try to be aggressive.”

“I only had one mistake over the two days, which [cost] me the gold, but silver’s okay,” he said.

“The field is very strong. You can’t be thinking that you’re going to win all the tournaments going into them. This one, I’m just going to have the same mindset as Toronto, play the small ball. The weather is supposed to be pretty bad so I’m just hoping to not make any big mistakes and [to] come out on top.”

The golf team lost Eric Flockhart this year as he moved on to do his masters at Western.

Flockhart was a crucial part of this team, but the Hawks have brought in new talent and the team looks promising.

“We’ve had a couple of guys come in who have helped us out. A couple of guys from the NAIA and some new young guys which is what our team has been this year,” Ryan said. “Last year we were an older bunch of guys and this year we’re a lot younger.”

“We have a lot of young guys on the team and we’re just trying to rebuild.”

Ryan had a phenomenal finish to 2016 as he achieved a first place finish at the OUA championships.

He pointed out how important it was for him to stay patient during his run.

“Last year was just about staying patient. I had a really good start to the year and around this time during the Toronto tournament, I had a really bad tournament,” he said.

“I took myself out of one the tournaments last year and I went into the OUAs with an open mind. I played pretty well and I also got kind of lucky.”

Going into the same tournament this year, Ryan acknowledged the difficulty of his competition. He added that it will be important for him to keep the same mindset that he had during the Toronto Invitational.

“The field is very strong. You can’t be thinking that you’re going to win all the tournaments going into them. This one, I’m just going to have the same mindset as Toronto, play the small ball. The weather is supposed to be pretty bad so I’m just hoping to not make any big mistakes and [to] come out on top.”

Ryan’s thinking paid dividends as he finished with a bronze medal at the OUA championships this past weekend.

It would have been extremely difficult for someone to finish first in back-to-back seasons, but a third place finish is far from a failure and this just added to the amazing year that Ryan and the rest of the Golden Hawks have had.

 

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