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September 08, 2005 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-08

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 2005 - 19A

*Schmucker
shines i
Women s
Amateur
By Lindsey Ungar
Daily Sports Writer
After finishing near the bottom of the NCAA Cen-
tral Regional last year, the women's golf team knew
it would have to put in extra work this summer.
Senior captain Amy Schmucker and junior Brian-
na Broderick were just two of the Wolverines to keep
up their game in national and regional tournaments.
Both Schmucker and Broderick qualified for the
U.S. Women's Amateur, held Aug. 1-7, at the Ansley
Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. It was the first time two
Wolverines made the tournament. Any female player
with a USGA Handicap Index 5.4 or under qualify,
but only 156 players make the final championship.
The Amateur consists of two rounds of stroke play to
compete ii a 64-player field of match play.
"It's the biggest tournament you can qualify for,"
Schmucker said. "They treat you like you're on the
pro tour."~
Schmucker played in the Amateur last year, losing
in the first round of match play. Her goal this summer.
was to not only make the cut, but also win a match.
"To be able to play with that kind of competition
tells you where you stand as a player," Schmucker
said.
Schmucker shot a 70 on the first day, finding her-
self atop the leaderboard after the morning round.
She was even called into the clubhouse for media
interviews.
"It was kind of like my 15 minutes (of fame),"
Schmucker said.
According to Michigan coach Kathy Teichert, the
attention was well-deserved.
"She had pretty much a flawless round," Teichert
said. "She made wise decisions. Her tempo was
great. It was the best I've ever seen her play."
On the second day, Schmucker shot a five-over 77
- good enough for the 19th spot in stroke play and
qualifying her for the 64-player match round.
Schmucker won her first round match against
Tulane University's Kasi Lee, 2-and-1. She then

N VOLLEYBALL
In his last year, Vozza

still looks t
By Billy Heisler
Daily Sports Writer
The greens were supple, the fairways were
lush and vibrant and the rough was thick and
unforgiving. During countless warm and lazy
summer days of his youth Michigan senior'
Christian Vozza would pile in a golf cart withi
his father and brother, taking on the links of
Traverse City. Vozza's dad was his primary1
teacher and supporter, while his brother was his;
role model and motivator.
By third grade, Vozza was competing in local
tournaments around northern Michigan. Despite1
success coming early, he kept trying to improvei
in these competitions through high school. Voz-'
za's natural and smooth swing along with hisI
aggressive play caught the eye of various college
scouts. When offered a scholarship to Michigan,{
Vozza accepted because for him, this was an
opportunity that he just could not turn down. I
"I have always loved the Wolverines," VozzaI
said. "I was a good student through high school,
so I aspired to attend a university with excellent
academics. Since Michigan also had a top-notch
golf program, it was easily the best fit for me."I
Vozza opened his college career with great1
focus and aggressive play, and right away heI
impressed coach Andrew Sapp.I
"When he arrived at Michigan, I had neverq
really heard of (Vozza)," Sapp said. "But I
noticed that he came to school ready to play on
the collegiate level."
But there were times when his desire to smash
the ball got him in trouble. During one qualify-
ing round his freshman year at the Michigan
Golf Course, Vozza whacked a terrible tee shot
into the rough. From there, the pin was about
240 yards, just past a water hazard. Vozza1
decided to take a chance with a shot over the
hazard, aiming for the green rather than layingI
up right in front of the hazard for a clear third,
shot at the pin. After his strike, his ball slicedl
and caught the wind, sailed over the clubhouse
and landed right in front of his coach.I
Vozza realized that he had to improvei
his shot selection, and, in doing so, his play
matured. He began hitting smarter shots and
improved his mental game, which added to hisi

:0 imp1Frove
success. Some of his best shots followed his
worst shots, when he ended up saving himself
for a par or even a birdie.
"Golf is a mental game," Vozza said. "It's all
about you. When you are out on the course, you
can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
The key to the game is never giving up and real-
izing that your next shot can be the best one of
your life. Consistently getting down on yourself
for every mistake that you commit will ruin the
game for you."
Sapp said: "Vozza is a free spirit on the golf
course. He is one of those players who does not
let a bad shot affect him. He has learned to get
up and down from what others consider junk.
The younger guys on the team take notice of
this."
Recently Vozza has stepped into the lead-
ership role on the team as an ambassador for
Michigan golf. Not only is he a fierce competi-
tor out on the links, but he also models a posi-
tive and constructive attitude. Vozza is known
to never take the fun out of the game.
"For the past two years, Vozza has lead our
stroke average," Sapp said. "But he is more
than that. He is an extremely joyful person. He
knows that the game is serious but also knows
the time and place for having fun and enjoying
life. The younger guys have definitely picked up
on this great balance."
As for his last year as a Wolverine, Vozza
plans on making the most of his amateur status
and improving his game as much as possible.
After Michigan, Vozza hopes to compete in
qualifying tournaments for professional tours.
Since winning the Michigan Amateur Cham-
pionship, along with other recent solid play,
Vozza's professional ambitions can very likely
become a reality. And Sapp fully supports this.
"If Vozza has the desire and the drive to play
professionally, then I hope he goes for it. He
should continue to reach for his dreams just as
he did coming into Michigan."
No matter if Vozza goes pro or falls back on
his Michigan education, he will continue pursu-
ing his passion.
"Golf is the greatest game I have ever played,"
Vozza said. "I will play it for the rest of my life,
one shot at a time."

FILE PHOTO
Senior Amy Schmucker opened the U.S Women's Amateur this summer with a 70 In the first round and
then qualified for match play.

went up against University of Arkansas's Amanda
McCurdy in the second round. McCurdy was the
runner-up of last year's U.S Amateur, providing
Schmucker with tough competition. McCurdy we
the match won 6-and-5. Despite the loss, Schmucker
was satisfied with her play.
"When I'm playing my best, I can play near that
level (of the top players in the country)," Schmucker
said.
Broderick didn't fare as well, shooting an 83 and
81, and failing to qualify for match play.
"Her expectations are very high," Teichert said.
"She missed some fairways and didn't hit well at
all."
Said Broderick: "My game was a rollercoaster this
summer. I'll get back to normal this fall."
Teichert knows Broderick will bounce back from
summer disappointments. Last year, Broderick had
Michigan's lowest stroke average, a 75.50 and will be

asked to be a leader on the team this season.
"I'm not worried about how Bri is going to come
back and perform," Teichert said.
With the graduation of former Wolverine
Laura Olin, the team will not only rely heavily
on veterans like Schmucker and Broderick, but
also on new players.
"There's been a lot of improvement over the sum-
mer, including Rose (Gassard)," Teichert said. "She
had some great breakthroughs, making the quarter-
finals of the Michigan Amateur."
Gassard, who redshirted last year, is just one of a
handful of players vying for a spot on the team this
season. Yesterday, the Wolverines began competing
against each other in four rounds of golf to qualify
for a spot at the season's first tournament, the Mary
Fossum Invitational, at Michigan State Sept. 17-18.
The five lowest scorers will make the trip to East
Lansing.

VENEGONI
Continued from page 15A
I justify it by saying that I'm Catholic and went to a Catholic, military
high school in Minnesota. Furthermore, in my life, I've just never had that
much of a problem with the Fighting Irish. I have friends who go there,
and, in high school, I even thought strongly about attending the school. I
would never have revealed this publicly until I had a revelation Tuesday
morning.
I woke up, got ready for class and checked my e-mail. Some school stuff,
Daily stuff and then a little message on thefacebook from a friend who
evidently believes that the Irish are back on top of the world.
"ND/Michigan this weekend biatch. Get ready for the Irish invasion."
Memories of the Wolverines losing to the Irish back in 1998 came
flooding back. My disappointment after we lost to them in 2002 and 2004

popped into my head too. I didn't actually like Notre Dame, I just felt bad
for them. I was in the small minority of people that didn't love the Irish and
also didn't hate them.
They were a fallen program (and probably still are at this point, ask me
again after Saturday). I wanted them to be good because it made college
football more fun. It's like the Florida schools having players get arrested
in the offseason it's just more enjoyable. Thankfully, Florida State and
Miami have filled that void for so many years, and the Irish look like they
are on their way back. It appears all is well in college football and my alle-
giances. For Michigan's sake, let's hope Carr gets some rest before game-
time Saturday and then is happy enough with the team's performance to
maybe even go out that night.
Venegoni would like to thank Lloyd Carr for having a good sense of
humor. Also, if Nick Lachey happens to read this and wants to party, just let
Venegoni know. Matt loves mail. He can be reached at mvgoni@umich.edu.

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