March 4, 2014
With career-best 18- and 54-hole scores as part of a 210 total at the Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, junior Noori Hyun helped the University of Michigan men's golf team to a tie for sixth, matching its best finish in 12 years at the tournament. Now, Hyun and the Wolverines set their eyes on San Diego for the San Diego Intercollegiate Classic next week (March 10-11) but not before enjoying a few rounds of golf in sunny California during U-M's spring break (March 1-8). Discussing the team's fast start to the spring season, his great play in Rio Grande, and how the Wolverines are spending some rare time off, Hyun took a moment from practice to speak with MGoBlue.com for a spotlight segment.
On assessing the team's progress after tying U-M's best-ever Puerto Rico finish ... "We practice a lot through the season and we knew that we had great depth on our team. During the fall season we had some struggles showing that, but over the winter I know everyone practiced really hard and that practice is showing off in the results now, so it's a motivator for us and it's nice to see a good finish."
On what part of his game helped him to his career-low 18- and 54-hole scores ... "I'd say a big part of it is short game. At the same time it's a different mindset I've started to have. Over the last three years of college golf now, short game has been my weakness the whole time, and over this winter I really tried hard to get my foundations of my short game right and it was basically lots of repetitions. It wasn't very fun; it was just repeating what I was doing all the time but it actually paid off and I haven't made many mistakes from easy spots, so that really eliminated any big scores from my scorecard, and I think that was the key to my game last week."
On how he focuses to improve round to round and lower his score each day ... "Just doing the basic things right over three days. I was never satisfied with my round result; I had better chances of going lower in the first round and second round as well so this was basically just hitting the right shot and finding the spot where I can get one more birdie and go lower."
On whether or not the team is getting into the spring rhythm ... "For sure. We were all eager to come out and play some good golf over the winter and it was nice to go into the match play to have that competitive mode in our mindset. Come Puerto Rico, I think we were ready to compete in any situation."
On how he and the team are enjoying Michigan's break from classes ... "It's really nice to come out to California here with the great weather. We have a tournament within a week, but just playing on great courses with great people with a little less pressure sometimes can be a recharging moment for us to play better in the next tournament."
Previous Spotlight: Chris O'Neill