Seniors Prepare To Say Goodbye

March 28, 2007

As the school year winds down, most students are excited to start the summer and leave behind all thoughts of their school life. However for two members of the Iowa men’s golf team, the end of the school year will be bittersweet.

Seniors Jon Feldick and Bennet Hammerberg are finishing up their careers at the UI. While both will miss playing the game for the Hawkeyes, they will also miss being a student and the friendships they’ve made along the way.

“I’ve been blessed,” said Feldick. “I’ll miss the good friends that I’ve made.”

Both will also be missed for the attitude they bring to practices.

“Both bring a relaxed atmosphere to the team. Whether it’s a van trip or long airplane ride, they make it fun. They like to joke with the other guys. They both just like to have fun and really enjoy themselves,” said Assistant Coach Adam Kaufman.

“They’re good kids,” said Head Coach Terry Anderson. “They’ve been good team members for four years.”

Feldick is a native of Iowa City, graduating from West High School in 2003. While at West, Feldick was a four-time team MVP as well as conference MVP as a junior and a senior. He also placed second in the 2002 US Junior Amateur Qualifier.

As a Hawkeye, Feldick has been a consistent leader in practice and competition. Last season he finished the season second on the team with a 74.67 stroke average. That was also his lowest stroke average as a Hawkeye.

This season, Feldick continues to improve. Other than the North Texas Classic, the first competition of the spring, Feldick posted the best overall scores for the Hawkeyes. His strong scores have been good enough to move him into the No. 1 spot in the lineup.

“Jon was pretty talented coming out of high school. He came in with a pretty big attitude the first few years, but he’s matured. He’s a lot more humble now,” said Kaufman.

“He has a calm demeanor on the course. He doesn’t get frustrated. He doesn’t slam his clubs. It helps other guys to see him act like that.”

Hammerberg, a graduate of Cedar Rapids Washington, was the Class 4A State Champion as a senior. He also was a four-time all-Metro and three-time all-conference selection.

As a Hawkeye, Hammerberg has grown on and off the course. While he hasn’t received a lot of playing time over his four-year career, he has improved, especially this spring. Kaufman has watched Hammerberg lower his score, with recent rounds being in the mid-to-upper-70s.

Like Feldick, Hammerberg is also respected for his demeanor on the course.

“He’s really relaxed. He doesn’t get too frustrated. Just being a senior, he realizes it’s not worth getting upset over one bad shot,” said Kaufman.

Kaufman has also been impressed with his scholastic work. Hammerberg has been putting in extra hours studying at the learning center to reach one of his goals of improved grades.

With the school year coming to an end, Feldick and Hammerberg are enjoying the time they have left and taking in as much as they can. Both said they will miss being around friends they have made on the team as well as the time they have spent practicing and traveling.

They’ll also take with them the lessons they learned from being a part of the team. Hammerberg said he’s learned responsibility as well as how much effort is involved in accomplishing something important. In addition to that, Feldick has learned to value everything he’s been given.

“Nothing’s a guarantee in golf. You can’t take things for granted in competition,” he said.

After graduation in May, Feldick hopes to play golf professionally. He would also be happy coaching collegiate level golf some day.

Hammerberg will graduate in December with a degree in finance. While he doesn’t know what he’ll do after graduation, he does plan to keep playing golf, for fun.

Written By Jennifer Bissell, Sports Information

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