Seniors Hewit and Preston hoping for successful season

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Drew Preston, BG golfer, looks over a putt on the eighth green of Stone Ridge Golf Club.

Reporter and Reporter

In a sport like golf that includes both team and individual scores, it takes character and leadership to put together a team that strives for excellence.

That is exactly what seniors Parker Hewit and Drew Preston bring to the Falcons.

“I feel very privileged to play at the division one level,” Hewit said. “I am very humble to have this opportunity and we all love playing for each other.”

In sports on any level, teams face adversity throughout the course of the season. What can really make someone a leader, however, is recognizing that the adversity can be some of the most meaningful moments.

“One of my worst tournaments was at Penn State,” Hewit said of the Rutherford Intercollegiate that took place in fall 2008. “But what was really special is that Drew finished third as a freshman in his first tournament. Even though we were playing a tournament where I could barely break 80, it was really special seeing Drew playing as well as he did.”

Hewit and Preston, who have improved their season scoring averages by two to three strokes since their freshman years, are always seeking to get better year-round.

“Growing up is always one of the strongest points,” said Preston, who was captain and led the Falcons with a 73.27 average in the 2010-2011 season. “Anytime we have been pushed down we work right back up. It’s great working on my game over the summer and it’s great to do well for the others. At Austin Peay junior year, we set several records and all five guys shot a round under par.”

Despite the similar values and work ethic that both Hewit and Preston share, both Falcons had different starting points for their golf careers.

Hewit, from Westfield, Ohio, received golf clubs from his grandfather at the age of five, when he began playing at Westfield Country Club two minutes away from his house. Hewit used that experience to earn first-team All-Suburban League member four times, and two-time first-team All-Northeast Ohio honors.

Preston, from Ada, Mich., located just outside Grand Rapids, started playing golf at age 12 even though his family didn’t play the game. While Preston also played a lot of hockey growing up, on the links he was a member of the All-State Super Team and helped lead his team to a fourth-place finish at the state tournament in back-to-back seasons.

The Falcons are led by coach Garry Winger, who is in his 13th season with the team. Winger, who had one of the lowest scoring season averages in BG history at 72.4 strokes, has built a foundation that people like Hewit and Preston are attracted to.

When Hewit and Preston were asked about why they decided to play golf at BG with several other schools wanting them on scholarship, they mentioned the sincerity of coach Garry Winger.

“I made the decision to come here pretty much right after I sat with coach Winger,” Hewit said. “He seemed genuine and it wasn’t something scripted. Right then I was drawn to BG. He’s had the experience and he’s played in all the big tournaments.”

Winger, recognized as one of the greatest golfers in BG history, has won several professional and amateur events. He is a significant reason why Hewit and Preston have improved, according to the athletes.

“I think coach Winger has really seen us grow,” Preston said. “Coach Winger wasn’t going to try and change anything with my swing and do something I didn’t want. There were no fake promises. He has always been there to help where we wanted it and he has really helped us develop a maturity aspect.”

As the Falcons make strides toward spring 2012, Hewit said he sees no reason why they can’t win the Mid-American Conference this year.

“I’d love to see us win the MAC Tournament, which I don’t think is out of the question,” Hewit said. “We have one of the most talented teams in the MAC. No question. It’s just a matter of all of us putting together a good week. I’m really excited and looking forward to finishing our spring season and my career here as a BGSU golfer and student.”