March 19, 2014
With career best 18-hole and 54-hole scores as part of a 218 total, freshman Reed Hrynewich earned his first-ever top-20 finish last week at the Lamkin San Diego Classic by tying for 13th place. After finishing fourth as a team in Chula Vista, Calif., the Maize and Blue will enjoy a three-week break before returning to action in Bryant, Texas, at the Aggie Invitational (April 5-6). Hrynewich took a moment to speak with MGoBlue.com for this week's spotlight segment, discussing individual and team success at the San Diego Classic, how the team will utilize its break and the team's bonding spring break trip.
On the aspects of the San Diego Country Club course that fit his style of play ... "The way the course was set up, it's not the most difficult of courses, but the greens are firm and fast and you have to have good approach shots onto the greens. You can't get on the wrong side of the hole because there's lots of undulation and downhill puts so if you're good with your approach shots and your irons and your mid-range game, I think you can be really successful. That's usually one of the better parts of my game, that and hitting greens in regulation so I think that was very important."
On the team's growth from the fall to spring seasons ... "We were a little upset at the end of the fall when we had our last couple tournaments and we really didn't play well because we know that we are a good team. Coming into this spring, we worked really hard over the winter; everyone took advantage of extra hours, and I felt like even though we hadn't played or gotten outside or anything, we had the mindset that we deserved to play well and we worked very hard, probably harder than all of the other teams. That was our attitude going in. We have a lot of guys, especially Noori (Hyun), who didn't play really well in the fall and they've just shot around par in all these tournaments. We've had a lot of guys contribute -- Bryce (Evon) shot a 68 in Puerto Rico. Everyone seems to be coming together and the freshmen are getting more used to the college life. I know I am; it was pretty stressful in the fall. So we're seeing results that we expected finally starting to come and we're hoping to play well in Texas."
On the importance of a good showing at San Diego for momentum's sake with the lengthy break coming up ... "It's very important because we're trying to move up as many spots in the rankings as we can. We have three goals this year and one of them is to make regionals, and usually a top 60 or top 65 (ranking) is what you need and we just keep inching up. I remember at the beginning of this tournament Coach was telling us that we have to treat it like it's a playoff. Every round, every shot is really important and we've got to stay focused and try and finish top-three, top-four in every event so we can to have a good chance at regionals. This was important because now we have a three week break and if we wouldn't have played well we would have had a lot more pressure going into the Texas event. We still want to play well at Texas obviously, but we're coming off some good vibes here and we're just beginning to feel more and more like we belong with those teams in the top 50. If you ask our coaches or anyone else, I think they'd say we're definitely a top 40 team the way we're playing right now, so everything has been a progression from Big Ten Match Play to Puerto Rico to this and we're just trying to keep the ball rolling and have a good three weeks here and go back out and do the same things."
On how the team bonded over the spring break trip and what it does for team unity ... "It does a couple things. One, the practice for everybody individually; it's really nice to be able to go hit off of regular grass and see the ball flight. We also go to dinner every night so everyone's conversing with each other and we're spending every minute with each other, so there's a lot of good team camaraderie; laughing, joking, playing games, just learning more about your teammates. I'm a freshman so there's still plenty of things I need to learn about golf and about my teammates but I feel like I got closer with all of the guys, just like I do every trip. Also, being able to play such nice courses and meet these Michigan alumni, it was pretty amazing to see people that have been so successful that have graduated from Michigan and have done so much for the school and did so much for us while we were there. I think we were all pretty amazed and fortunate for all these people did. Then with the courses we got to play and practice on, it was a really great spring break. Spending it with the guys, I wouldn't have done it any other way, so it was a good time."
Previous Spotlight: Noori Hyun