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  • Writer's pictureRonan Kleu

Finally an update...

It’s been a while since I’ve contributed to this blog! Over the last year, I was very much caught up with juggling golf and my Master’s degree in business analytics at the University of Iowa. A short update – I am currently back in Switzerland playing the largest amateur events around Europe before tackling the “Spitzensport-RS”, finishing up my Master’s online and turning professional. I’m looking forward to taking the step I’ve been working toward these last few years!

As for my events this last college season, I unfortunately suffered a back injury that set me out for approximately two months which meant that I missed out on the opportunities of competing at the World Amateur Team Championship in France and the Omega European Masters and Iowa’s first fall tournament. Nevertheless, I was back in action for the second event for Iowa but still in recovery mode. Over the next two semesters, I picked up multiple top 10s and top 25s in some strong fields, highlighted by my 9th place finish at the Wake Forest Invitational at Pinehurst #2. I still felt like that I wasn’t putting all parts of my game together in a given week to fully embrace my talent and score my best. According to stats and also my feeling, my long game saw a large improvement over the last year, whereas my short game and putting were identified as areas for improvement on which I am still working on with my putting coach, Preston Combs, and my national coaches. I finished up my time in Iowa City and college in May being distinguished as the recipient of the 2023 Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award, which is awarded for athletic and academic excellence. Additional highlights over my two-year career at Iowa included having one of the top 2 lowest scoring averages for the team both years, 11 top-25 finishes, 4 top 10 finishes and the recipient of the 2023 Sportsmanship award. Overall, I will cherish all my college years, both at Columbus State University and at the University of Iowa and would like to thank everyone involved in my college career for making it such a memorable time.

After arriving back in Switzerland, I took just over a week to settle back into the timezone, get acquainted back on European soil and work a little on my game with Marc Chatelain before heading to the St Andrews Links Trophy. Once we arrived in St. Andrews, I could tell right away that I liked the vibe of the town – the first night arrived, we went down to the 18th fairway at 22:00 and there were still groups coming in on the final fairway with the bagpipes being played alongside! Furthermore, a bunch of the folks within the town were wearing golf clothes, they took their golf bags into grocery stores – just a true golf town! The first day of tournament on the New Course following the practice rounds went splendidly, as I started with three straight birdies and finished with two consecutive birdies including a chip-in on 17 to share the clubhouse lead at -5. Round 2 on the Old Course had fewer fireworks, however, was solid, finishing with a great par on the “Road Hole” 17th and a birdie on the generous 18th to shoot even. The next 36 holes were only played by the top 40 that had made the cut out of 144 contestants and I started off strong with a birdie at the first. I struggled to adjust quickly enough to the wetter, slower greens in the morning and had a lost ball on 12 to sign for an unfortunate 76. Frustrated by how I had played myself out of the tournament in round three, I took the mentality into the final round that I was lucky enough to play an additional round on the Old Course and so I should enjoy it. The positive mindset paid off as I signed for a 68 to finish the tournament 23rd. As mentioned, I was unhappy with the third round especially, however I had many positives to take from a solid week in a good field at an unforgettable venue!

Now that I am back in Switzerland, I plan to be a lot more active on this blog. Next up will be the Amateur Championship at Hillside. Thank you for the support!

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