April 20, 2017
Every year each Big Ten institution awards a male and female student-athlete with a Medal of Honor. First awarded in 1915, the conference’s most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. This week each of Ohio State’s ten Big Ten Medal of Honor finalists will be sharing their experiences as Buckeyes and what led them to become the outstanding student-athletes they are today.
The people. That is what I will remember most about my time as a Buckeye. The people have allowed me to experience the full spectrum of being a successful student-athlete. The people – teammates, coaches, administrators, alumni, fans (the list goes on and on) – are what make The Ohio State University special. While it hasn’t always been easy, I’ve been able to achieve success athletically, academically, socially and mentally because of the people. I would like to thank all these people for all they have done for me.
Therese Hession is constantly looking for ways to make every single one of her players better every single day. She doesn’t go to bed at night without researching the best ways to help each and every player. And she’ll continue to help me down the road. That’s just the type of person she is. Coach has and will continue to influence me so much, both on the course and off it.
When the announcement was made at the Scholar-Athlete Banquet that I was a finalist for the Big Ten Medal of Honor award, I had no clue. I was sitting there with my coat on thinking the event was about to end all of a sudden I heard them call my name. No one was more excited than Coach. It was exciting to see the big smile on her face afterwards. This means a lot to her and I like that about her.
Coach Strommie is now the head coach at Texas State (Go Bobcats!), but she, too, played a huge role in not only me coming to Ohio State but also being a part of my fondest memories. She was right by my side for the hole-in-one a few years ago and was always striving to ensure the team was taking full advantage of the student-athlete experience. And with Coach Snider coming in for my senior year, she’s stepped right in and been a great addition to this program and my life.
My teammates have been with me every step of the way from late night study sessions to winning back-to-back-to-back Big Ten Championships. It seems like every time we’ve been under the gun and just had to pull it out. Crazy. I’m hopeful this year we can get it done with less dramatics and win it outright.
John Macko, my academic advisor, knows the business school well and had me moving in the right direction so that I could get admitted into the finance major. He’s always been there for me. If I had a question, and I had lots of them over the years, he’s always been there for me, “Don’t worry. You got this. You’ll be fine.” Without John and the rest of the SASSO folks, I’m not sure I could have earned All-American Scholar honors the last three years. I truly appreciate his efforts.
My dad is my number one fan, only missing a few tournaments in my career. He doesn’t play golf himself, so it’s been harder for him to understand why I do certain things on the course. That hasn’t stopped him from being super supportive though. My mom and sister have also been able to come cheer me on at the Big Ten tournament each year, including when I was the conference player of the year in the 2014 B1G Championships. It’s nice to be able to return the favor a bit now with my sister, going to watch her play in the state tournament.
Following graduation, I plan to turn pro midway through the summer and go to the first stage of Q School in the fall. If I’m able to earn my Tour card, it’ll be mainly because of the people here at Ohio State and resources they provided me. I’ll be forever grateful.