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Powers uses offseason to polish game

After coming off a wrist injury and struggling during the spring golf season, senior golfer John Powers is back to 100 percent this summer playing in amateur tournaments.

The co-captain has been busy each week practicing his game and competing in amateur qualifier events throughout the region.

A player must establish a certain handicap as well as other resume qualifications based on past performances in order to play in a qualifier.

‘A lot of college guys stay busy in the summer playing in these events,’ Powers said. ‘It helps stay competitive and helps prepare for the upcoming college season.’

Powers explained how golf is different than other sports in that the team and the individuals themselves can practice more in the offseason.

‘Playing in summer tournaments simulate the real season in golf rather than how other sports are only allowed a small amount of time before the season to practice cohesively,’ he said.

During the summer there are thousands of collegiate players as well as other amateurs that battle in the qualifying events for around 80 spots in the actual tournaments.

Last Friday, Powers finished second after losing in a playoff of the regional U.S. Amateur Pub Links tournament.

While he was disappointed for not winning, Powers does say how in golf finishing anywhere near the top in these events is an accomplishment.

Just three days later Powers was back on the course where he tied for ninth in the Porter Cup qualifier which took place in Buffalo, N.Y.

Unfortunately only the top eight spots moved on, leaving Powers looking forward to the next opportunity.

‘I have a lot of experience in these events so I do not let something like this set me back,’ he said.

The Bowling Green native will play in the Eastern Amateur from July 9-12, having already qualified.

Incoming freshman Falcon golfer Kyle Laberdee will be caddying for Powers in the tournament, which will have many of the top 100 amateur players competing in it.

‘John has a lot of skill and potential to eventually play professionally,’ Laberdee said.

Powers points out how getting accustomed to the summer amateur tournament lifestyle is something necessary in order to take his game to the next step.

After the Eastern Amateur awaits the Ohio Amateur (July 14-17), the biggest state amateur golf outing.

Powers has also qualified to play in the U.S. Amateur (Aug. 3-4), which is the amateur equivalent of the U.S. Open.

Even though the bar is set high for his individual performance, Powers does not lose sight of the University’s program.

The Falcons finished eighth at the end of the year Mid-American Conference tournament in May.

‘I took it personally because if I had hit my average we could have finished as high as second,’ Powers said.

He admits he might have rushed his recovery in attempting to get his game back in the spring.

‘Last season had its set backs but I am hitting the ball as well as I was before the injury,’ he said. ‘This coming season the whole team will be much improved, we didn’t lose anyone and we have gained two great freshmen.’

Fellow senior Chad Walker is grateful to have Powers as a friend and a teammate.

‘John is a real solid player and he leads by example,’ he said.

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