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September 20, 2004 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-20

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 20, 2004 - 3

Duffers
score four
sub -par
rounds
By Seth Gordon
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's golf team is
finally starting to see red. ,
After tallying just eight individual
rounds below par for the entire 2003-
2004 season, the Wolverines recorded
five this weekend at the Northern Inter-
collegiate tournament at the University
of Wisconsin. Sophomore Kevin Dore
and junior Christian Vozza each fin-
ished one-under par to lead Michigan to
a sixth-place team finish out of 13 team.
The duo tied for seventh-place individu-
ally.
The performance was quite a step up
for the Wolverines, who finished 13th
out of 14 teams in their own tournament
last week.
"It's definitely a good sign with two of
our guys in the top 10 individually and
under par for the tournament," Michi-
gan coach Andrew Sapp said. "Basical-
ly, we needed a little more consistency
and our third and fourth players to bring
their scores down. With two kids in the
top 10, we would hope to finish in the
top-three as a team, not top-six. But,
there were a lot of positives to take away
from this week."
Dore and Vozza provided three of
Michigan's five rounds under par and
both had a chance to win the tourna-
ment heading into the last round. Dore
was five-under par before teeing off yes-
terday. He carded an opening-round 70
and followed it up with a season-best 69
in the second. But Dore could not find
his rhythm in the final round and his
four-over 76 dropped him out of conten-
tion.
"I am proud of the way I played - I
played solid," Dore said. "I gave myself
a lot of chances, which was why I was
under par. On Sunday, I was disappoint-
ed because I had a chance to make a run
at the title, and I didn't quite make it."
Vozza opened the tournament with a
75 before scorching the University Ridge
Golf Course with a 68 in the second round.
Vozza continued his hot play in the final
round and was tied for the lead at four-
under par after 14 holes. But Vozza came
undone with a bogey and double-bogey on
his final two holes to finish in seventh.
"After my first round, I was consis-
tent, hit lots of greens and got a rhythm
going," Vozza said. "Unfortunately, I
lost it at the end."
In the team competition, Sapp was
looking to sophomore Matt McLaugh-
lin, freshman Brian Ottenweller and
junior Mark McIntosh to turn in solid
scores for the Wolverines' third and
fourth slots. However, all three strug-
gled to turn in low numbers, finishing in
33rd, 54th and 68th, respectively.
Fifth-year senior Rob Tighe turned in
an impressive 16th-place performance
while competing as an unattached indi-
vidual. Tighe totaled a three-over par
54-hole total and carded the last two of
Michigan's five red numbers, opening
and closing the tournament with 71s on
the par-72 course. Because Tighe com-
peted as an individual, his scores could
not be counted toward Michigan's total.
Sapp was impressed with his perfor-
mance nonetheless.
"Rob fired two 71s on the weekend -

that's spectacular," Sapp said. "His 77
in the second round was a bit unlucky,
but overall he did an excellent job this
weekend."
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Advice for America's youth

:

Pick up the kicking tee

Dear youth of America,
My name is Gennaro Filice
fan of college football. I write
concern for the future
of every sixth day of the
week during the fall sea-
son. And I'd like to give a
message to all y ou youn-
gins w ith pigskin passion
and dreams of Saturday
afternoon heroics: Please
concentrate on the fdtbol
aspects of football.
We've reached a sad Th
state in college football
where the oddly even six-

and I am an avid
to you with great
GENNARO
FRICE
e SportsMonday
Column

point drive is common and teams have to scheme
for two possessions when facing a 10-3 deficit.
The letter P' in the acronym 'PAT' now stands for
"possibility," not "point." That 20-yard chip shot
that used to be the icing on the proverbial touch-
down cake has quickly turned stale. And this dis-
crepancy in one of football's most straightforward
plays has had a broad effect on the game we love.
Announcers hate having to retract their spur-
of-the-moment "tie ballgame" calls. Casual fans
can't handle losing their bathroom/snack break
that used to come when the point was guaranteed.
And my cohorts and I (the diehard fans) are tired
of having our hard-earned touchdown celebrations
cut short by some dude who can't bench the bar.
Field goal kicking has been no better. Thirty-
yard attempts have been hooked and sliced worse
than a U.S. player's Titleist in the Ryder Cup,
40-yard tries have become wishful thinking and

50-yard attempts are now laughable. The current
college kicker seems to struggle so much with the
three-pointer - even from short distances - that
he may as well have sported the red, white and
blue on the hardcourt in Athens.
This trend is sickening.
Oregon State's Alexis Serna, Northwestern's
Brian Huffman, LSU's Ryan Gaudet ... More
kickers have made national headlines in the first
three weeks of this fall than in most entire sea-
sons of the past - and it ain't for splitting the
uprights.
What happened to the days when Florida State
kicker Scott Bentley graced the cover of Sports
Illustrated, kickers like Kansas State alum Mar-
tin Gramatica were "automatica" and Kathy Ire-
land was a symbol for consistency in "Necessary
Roughness" - the days when college kickers were
glorified, not vilified.
What happened to Mr. Reliable - the steady-
footed, single-digited 120-pounder whose pre-
pubescent face exuded confidence and assurance
through his low-riding, unnecessarily thick single-
bar facemask. The player whose foot was worth its
weight in gold?
Our game features many superstars in those
sexy specialty positions, but we greatly lack play-
ers who can boot the ball with any accuracy.
For every consistent kicker like Ohio State's
Mike Nugent, there's at least five Scott Norwoods
out there. And "wide right" - which used to be
Florida State's signature moment - has become a
national phenomenon.
Has football begun losing its best legs to the
increasingly popular sport of soccer? Should

kickers ditch the soccer style kick and return to
the flat-toe shoe, straight on approach? Have col-
lege kickers lost their legendary poise and ability
to handle the most pressure-packed situations?
Did the NCAA thin down the distance between
uprights without letting us know?
Whatever the problem is, we, the dedicated fol-
lowers of America's Saturday afternoon obses-
sion, look to you, our country's aspiring athletes,
for assistance. Lower our heart rates, give us back
our hair and stop the destruction of innocent head-
sets belonging to head coaches around the country
- become a kicker.
High school quarterbacks, ditch the head cheer-
leader for a kicking tee. Linebackers, trade in that
intimidating facemask visor for a right-footed soc-
cer cleat (or no shoe if you desire the old school
bare-foot approach). O-linemen ... well, you guys
were put there for your deficiency in coordination,
so stay put.
There are too many kickers in college football
who can't boot the ball further than Lou Piniella
can boot his hat. There are too many kickers who
display less accuracy than a government survey.
And, sadly enough, there are way too many kick-
ers who can't chip the ball twenty yards through
an 18-foot, six-inch space.
Please help college football fans, kiddies. Drop
your ego and pick up a kicking tee.
Sincerely,
Gennaro A. Filice IV

AP PHOTO
Before nailing a 50-yard game-winning kick,
Tennessee's James Wilholt missed a huge PAT.

Gennaro Filice can be reached at
gfilice@umich.edu

I I

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