Their Final Putt

Feb. 6, 2006

Saying goodbye is always hard. But for the Iowa men’s golf team, saying goodbye means losing leaders, on and off the course.

This season, the team will bid farewell to four, Brian deBuhr, Kyle Hougham, Luke Miller and Andy Tiedt.

“I’m losing good friends, good athletes and good students,” said Head Coach Terry Anderson. “All four have done great things in the classroom and have been good leaders and role models. My loss will be the outside world’s gain.

While they haven’t played as much as they would have liked during their years at Iowa because of talented underclassmen, they will walk off the greens proud of what they’ve accomplished.

For Brian deBuhr, who tied for a team low round in the Missouri Bluffs Intercollegiate Tournament last fall, being a part of the team has meant learning lessons he will use always.

“I’ve learned team camaraderie that goes with just having fun and getting to know new people from different areas,” he said.

“I’ve matured a lot as a human being and grown up. I’m now able to manage my time. Playing golf and going to school made me manage my time and get ready for the real world.”

While he still has a year left of eligibility, Kyle Hougham will be leaving the team this spring to pursue another dream: law school. Yet despite his early departure, Hougham will leave Iowa with memories to last a lifetime. “I’ve met some great friends in my life,” said Hougham. “I’ve learned what it takes to make the team and the sacrifices you need to make. I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world.” Luke Miller, who was the only Hawkeye to play in every tournament his freshman year, will always remember the travel. “The best part has been the places we’ve been,” said Miller. “I’ve become friends with a lot of the guys, and it’s great that I get to go to these wonderful locations with them.”

Andy Tiedt is coming off a successful fall season in which he lowered his strokes average from 76.4 to 75.6 in just 14 rounds. When he sinks a putt for the final time in his collegiate career, he knows he will be doing so as a better all-around person.

“I’ve learned a lot of prioritizing and balancing between school, golf and socializing,” said Tiedt. “I’d definitely say I’ve matured as an athlete and as a person. I’ve learned to be more responsible.”

As for this spring, Anderson would love to see his seniors continue to grow as golfers as well as individuals.

“You’d like to see them all play as much as possible. I’d really like to see them all compete, because they are seniors. But, should they get beat out in a qualifier, I hope they take it in a positive manner and keep themselves in line for another qualifier,” said Anderson.

While they know there are up against stiff competition in order to earn a playing spot at the remaining seven tournaments, all are thinking about team goals rather than individual performance.

“I’d like to make it to the regional and get into the post-season. That’s something we’ve never done since I’ve been here. We’ve never been close, but based on our fall results, we’re going to be close this year,” said Tiedt.

“I’d like to have our team go beyond the Big Ten’s and do well at regional and into NCAA’s,” said deBuhr.

No matter what happens this spring, the seniors will look back on their experience and smile.

“Iowa City is a great place to live and play golf. I’ve had a lot of fun,” said Miller.

When the final scorecard is signed, the team will walk off the course knowing they have lost four leaders.

written by Jennifer Bissell, Iowa Sports Information