Daniel Small, Hinckley-Big Rock, sophomore
One year in the Rod Jandt system has led to a swing transformation for Daniel Small. As a freshman, Small struggled with consistency.
“We call him out sophomore sensation,” Jandt said. “He’s been an amazing player.”
What to watch for
Somonauk and Sandwich at Hinckley-Big Rock boys golf at Indian Oaks 4 p.m. today
A challenging triangular awaits the Royals who are without No. 1 Luke Winkle who suffered a sprained left shoulder in P.E. class last week. The injury to Winkle will test the Royals’ depth as Daniel Small and Austin Scott will be counted on to continue posting low scores.
Hinckley-Big Rock at Genoa-Kingston girls golf at The Oak Club at 4 p.m. today
The Royals take another step up in competition - they lost in a triangular to the Cogs last week - when they head to the Oak Club. G-K has shown depth behind Andrea Strohmaier and Emily Wakeley in its undefeated start.
Luke Winkle has a sprained left shoulder. He’s currently rehabbing the injury in hopes that he can return Sep. 19 for the Little 10 Conference Tournament.
Without their captain, the Royals’ (2-8) depth will be challenged as they try to go on a second-half run.
“We weren’t in sync,” Jandt said. “ We just lost our captain and the wind had been let out of our sails a little bit. We’ve got some young guys that will have to step up. We didn’t encounter a whole lot of adversity last year.
“But we are trying to stay loose, have some fun, laugh and focus on the fundamentals. We don’t need any more stress than we already have. We want to stay loose and just go out and play some golf.”
Appropriate adjectives eluded DeKalb coach John Cordes after the Barbs (1-4, 1-3 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) beat previously undefeated Yorkville, 168-169, Wednesday at Kishwaukee.
“I’m real happy,” Cordes said. “Pumped, jacked or keyed up; whatever Nick Bourdages said after the win. It’s good to see the guys ready to go. I think the win helps their psyche. Sometimes it only takes one good result to get things going in the right direction.”
Ryan Schultz was +8 after three holes and Bourdages was +7. Yet, Schultz finished with six straight pars and Bourdages was +1 during the same span to complement the 41 freshman Ben Melms recorded and the Chris Clark’s 42.
Knights’ inbound nine
If the first half of the 2012 golf season can be compared to a round of golf, Kaneland (6-5, 2-2 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) juxtaposed circles and squares around its first nine holes.
With an up-and-down performance thus far, Knights’ coach Mark Meyer wants a second half, an inward nine, to feature steadier performances.
“We need to play more consistently,” Meyer said. “We played great golf at the start of the season. The last few times out we’ve played above our averages.”
The shot an athlete can’t see coming is the hardest to master in all of sports.
It’s the punch that can knock out a boxer, a hit from a safety to an unsuspecting wide receiver that causes a dropped pass or the blind shot that a golfer must execute. The prerequisite for sustained success in each situation seems to be a formula in which experience and confidence are involved.
“A blind shot might impact an amateur golfer more than any other,” H-BR coach Rod Jandt said. “Because the shot isn’t visible a player has to envision it in their mind and that requires confidence. They’ve got to trust their line, their swing and the shot they’ve selected to play.”
Often a blind shot to the fairway from the tee box or to the pin from the fairway can be overcome with a few steps.
“The best advice on a shot into the green is to walk up there and take a look,” Kaneland coach Mark Meyer said. “Players can pick a marker in the distance, a tree or building, and can use it as an aim point. This will help increase their confidence.”