6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 22, 2003
'M' golf has
By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's golf team served as a nice
welcome mat when it hosted this year's Northern
Intercollegiate golf tournament. Michigan fin-
ished the weekend 12th in the field of 15, saved
only by a solid performance from senior Dave
Nichols on the final day of competition.
Michigan stumbled out of the gate and
could not recover, finishing the weekend 43-
over par on its home course. Marred by incon-
sistent play on the back nine, the front nine
proved just as unfriendly in yielding higher
scores from all but one starter. The short
game left cause for concern, but it was the all-
around sloppy effort that produced four dou-
ble bogeys and a triple bogey and kept the
Wolverines from cracking the top 10.
"I was a little disappointed with the way our
starting five played, other than Dave Nichols,"
Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. "I might
shuffle the lineup a little bit and get some of these
young guys who played well in there for our next
Senior Dave Nichols turned in the only quality
performance for the Wolverine starters. Coming
off an appearance at the 2003 U.S. Amateur
Championship, Nichols looked sharp all day,
heading back into the clubhouse at 2-under par.
"It's really coming together (for me)," Nichols
said. "Today it was just real solid; hopefully I can
build on that."
Sophomore Christian Vozza, playing as an
individual, turned in a similarly respectable per-
formance. Vozza carded career bests in back-to-
back rounds this weekend, capped by a 67
yesterday. Vozza finished third among the indi-
Buckeye leads despite handicap
The Michigan golf team found Itself in the rough
(or worse) a lot during a tough weekend.
vidual competitors and earned a spot in the start-
"You can bet that Christian Vozza will be in
the lineup (next week) after his play this week,"
Redshirt freshman Brandon Duff, also playing
as an individual, finished the weekend tied for
19th with a score of 7-over par.
Duff's final score is not indicative of his week-
end; he looked good, tallying a 1-over par in each
of the first two rounds. Despite a weak third
round, Duff and his Great Big Berthas could
make an appearance in the starting five early in
Xavier was the star of the tournament, taking the
trophy home on the shoulders of three aces and a
spectacular score of 1-over par. Jason Kokrak
popped in an ace on the 14th hole yesterday, join-
ing Matt Makinson and Miles Maillet, who both
scored hole-in-ones during the practice round.
By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
One day Kevin Hall would like to win
the U.S. Open.
He'll raise his arms in triumph and
smile to all the fans standing and applaud-
ing him loudly.
Only he won't hear a single word.
That's because Hall - a senior at Ohio
State who helped lead the Buckeyes to a
third-place finish at this weekend's Northern
Intercollegiate at the Michigan Golf Course
- is deaf.
At age two, Hall was hit with a bout of
meningitis. He beat the disease, but lost
That didn't stop Hall. It didn't stop him
from becoming both the first black and first
deaf golfer to play for Ohio State. It doesn't
stop him from being a role model to many
"I'd like to be a role model to both minori-
ties and those with hearing problems
because I like to think that what I do means
something," Hall said after completing the
tournament with rounds of 76-70-78 - 224.
He finished in a tie for 33rd individually.
Hall's right about one thing: What he's
done as a role model has meant something
What he's done on the golf course has not
gone unnoticed either.
Hall, originally from Cincinnati, had
offers from virtually all the schools that he
was interested in coming out of St. Rita
School for the Deaf, and settled on Ohio
State because he and his family felt that it
had the best combination of golf and disabil-
"We wanted Kevin to go to a school where
a disability program was in place," said his
father, Percy Hall, who followed his son all
weekend and also serves as his sign lan-
guage translator during interviews. "We
looked at a lot of schools, but we felt Ohio
State was the best at what Kevin needed."
He's one of just four black golfers playing
at the Division I-A level, and he's the only
Being deaf certainly hasn't hindered Hall's
success on the golf course. In just the past
year, Hall shot even par
at the Dayton Open, an
event on the Nationwide
Tour (a circuit for golfers
that's just below the PGA
Tour) and he won the
by playing seven rounds
in 23-under par.
But what makes Hall
so special is his effect on
Hall others who share his dis-
"I remember at a tournament last season,
Kevin was playing with some of our guys
and a couple gentlemen with hearing disabil-
ities came down just to watch him," said
Michigan coach Andrew Sapp. "I think that
shows just how inspirational his story is.
He's a great role model to a lot of people. To
overcome the adversity that he has just
shows what kind of person he is."
Hall makes numerous appearances a year
to high schools around Ohio and even played
a round of golf with a deaf high-school
golfer who just requested the opportunity to
someday meet him.
Hall doesn't believe his disability hampers
his play. In fact, he says sometimes not hear-
ing anything helps him focus on the golf
"He can't hear people talking or horns
honking as cars gp by, and that's an advan-
tage out on the course," said Ohio State
coach Jim Brown. "It's been such a treat
coaching him. He's one of the nicest kids
I've ever been associated with."
When he's on the course, Hall has to play
golf completely by feel. Since he can't hear
the club hit the ball, he has to rely totally on
how the club feels in his hands on impact.
"Sometimes Kevin will hit the ball and
turn to me to ask me how it sounded," said
Percy. "It's just one of those things he over-
comes. He's a fighter."
Hall's been a fighter his whole life. Born a
month early at only a little over three
pounds, Hall fought as a baby just to sur-
Then, after Hall came down with meningi-
tis, the doctors had no option but to give him
medication that would burn the nerve fibers
in his ears and force him to lose hearing in
It was the only way to save his life.
"I have always told him that your life is
how you react to the situation you're given,"
No one, however, not even Percy, would
ever have dreamed that when Kevin was a
child, he would turn into a college athlete.
"I never thought he'd play a sport in col-
lege," said Percy. "We didn't know anyone
that was deaf. It was all new to us. We just
told him that the sky was the limit."
Kevin's taken his father's comments liter-
ally. After he graduates next fall, Hall says
he will probably give it a go at playing pro-
"Yeah, I'd like to try to play professional-
ly," said Hall, laughing. "But after today's
round (a 78), I don't know anymore."
Even though Hall and his Buckeyes didn't
win this weekend's Northern Intercollegiate,
nobody will ever tell him he's not a winner.
"I'm the same as everybody else," says
Hall with a smile. "Except I just can't hear."
Tell us what you really think. PA EC RS'.
We want your feedback about the recent amendments to theg
Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. 'si
Staff from 05CR and representatives from MSA will be available to HAT NUAC SMOVI
talk with students: *SAtatement Vof, St E GVEN 6no
Wednesday, September 24, 11 :3am-1 :30 pm
Michigan Uinotid4haodCor onde atn eceC r svy-te ~ <~
Thursday, September 25,11 :3am-1 :30 pmlar ie buthPakC p*>
Pierpont Commons outside the Piano Lounge T,' sday .1pem r"17 3 pin
p x o le to akndg4 ,<
Office of Student Conflict Resolution f 8.6 , :.iZy4 7
1 Division of Student Affairs
Will be holding interviews for
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Friday, October 17th, 2003
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