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Senior bests elements to earn 1st college win

By Jorge Reyna, Jr.
On April 18, 2022

The environment and conditions of an athlete can indeed affect their efficiency and playmaking ability.

For a golfer, the ability to consider course and weather conditions is something they have trained for their entire athletic career.

That would be some- thing that senior James Hill would conquer on March 29 through the rain and cold at the Butler Spring Invite. Hill shot a ca- reer-best 139 over 36 holes to secure his first collegiate win and 24th individual win in Titan history. That score put him in a three- way tie for first place.

The winner was determined by a scorecard playoff by looking at the players’ scores on the final two holes. Hill bested his competition after he birdied on 17 and parred on 18.

Head Coach James Tinkey said Hill has always been able to display mental toughness, especially through freezing conditions during the match.

“It says a lot to his mental strength,” Tinkey said. “A lot of guys were complaining about the weather, but everyone was playing under the same conditions. One of his most

significant assets is his mental forti- tude and not letting anything get to him and focusing on the next shot.”

Hill would not only receive the individual award but be recognized as Horizon League’s men’s golf athlete of the week after coming off his impressive victory. Hill’s two rounds under par give him eight
on the year at par or better, and his 75.97 career average places him 13th
in school history. Hill says he wasn’t even paying attention to the leader- board as all the commotion about

him possibly winning the tournament.

“I didn’t really watch the leaderboard too much during the tournament, and once I birdied the last hole, Coach Tinkey was standing off the side of the green and told me, ‘I think you just won that tour- nament,’” Hill said in an interview.

Hill knew the condi- tions were the same for everyone, so there was no advantage or disadvantage; taking it one shot at a time was the best Hill said he could do, which worked out in his favor.

The Titans are currently preparing for the Horizon League Championship in Florida. Coming off the Butler Invitational placing fourth overall with a score of 581, Tinkey spoke on the development and how well this team has set themselves up as they finish the season.

“The first few tournaments, we [spent] the majority of the time indoors, and now we’ve put ourselves in a position where we’re playing better and quicker than I thought
we would,” Tinkey said. “I’m just hoping that this continues in these next tournaments, but it’s good to see they’re on the right trajectory towards the time it matters the most.”

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