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  • Writer's pictureRonan Kleu

2021 so far...

This Spring and Summer season of 2021 I have been very active on the golf course, both for tournaments and practice. In January I headed back to the US early to take advantage of the favourable weather conditions at the beginning of the year in the South there.

Columbus State opened (and would continue) our Spring tournament schedule in Florida. With solid rounds of 70, 71 and 68 I earned my first top 5 at the Saint Leo Invitational. Next came the eventful Southeastern Collegiate during which I struggled with my putter in rounds 1 and 3, but caught fire during the second round in which I shot an 8-under 64, the tied lowest round of the year in our conference. I would finish 7th in the event. For our home tournament, the Aflac Cougar Invitational, I struggled to get into the rhythm of things in round one including some tough breaks, however came back with a three-under 67 and even-par 70 to finish third. For my last regular season tournament I finished in 9th at the Argonaut Invitational with rounds of 72, 73 and 68. This conclusion of the season meant that I had never finished outside the top 10 in any tournament for the season, led the Peachbelt conference scoring average with 70.27 (second lowest in Peachbelt conference history) and earned the PBC Player of the Year. Furthermore, I was nominated to be a part of the "Elite 16", for achieving a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. I was honoured to accept both awards and was happy to see how the hard work was paying off.

Now fully vaccinated, the Columbus State Golf Team headed into post-season play. In a slightly uneventful fashion, I finished 10th at the conference tournament before finding some very important form at the South - Southeast Regional, leading the team to the Nationals with an individual runner-up showing with rounds of 71, 73 and 67. In these moments golf becomes so much more than an individual sport: Emotions were flowing as we qualified for the National Championship for the first time since 2013. Despite us not achieving the goal we were all striving towards at Nationals and us missing out the Matchplay portion by one spot, it was an experience I will never forget: playing the PGA National in PGA Tour conditions and treacherous winds - a real test of grit and staying in the game. Soon after Nationals, it was time to say goodbye to Columbus, the Columbus State Cougars and some friends that will stay friends for life. I would like to thank all my teammates, coaches, friends and entire Cougar Nation for making my time there so enjoyable and memorable. Regardless of where life takes me now, a part of me will always stay rooting for CSU!

On the way back to Europe, I actually only had a layover of 12 hours in Switzerland before heading to Egypt for two ProGolfTour Events with the Swiss Golf Team. Overwhelmed with jetlag, extreme heat and food I wasn't used to and an unwelcome virus, I struggled physically for the two weeks. Nevertheless, I played some of my best golf of the year and finished third twice with rounds of 66, 74, 69 (-7) and 72, 66, 70 (-8). It was nice to see that I can keep up with the pros on this level and it will be used as motivation to push even harder in the future. After some much needed regeneration; I am now ready to compete at the Omnium Suisse this weekend and the rest of the upcoming tournaments in Europe this summer before my fresh start at the University of Iowa!

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