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September 16, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-09-16

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8A - Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Michigan's Kim
to play in Masters

Senior cornerback James Rogers (18) has changed positions multiple times in his career at Michigan, making two career starts at both wide receiver and corner
Rogers brings nothing
to lose atti tude tojYE'

Cornerback has
veteran presence,
despite just two
starts on defense
By RYAN KARTJE
Daily SportsEditor
When senior cornerback Troy
Woolfolk went down with a season-
ending injury in August, it looked
as though the Wolverines had lost
all of their veteran presence in the
defensive backfield.
But there was one senior cor-
nerback - although he hadn't been
a cornerback for very long - who
kept coming up on the coaches'
radar.
Head coach Rich Rodriguez

knew that veteran leadership on yet most veteran, member of the
defense could make or break the secondary.
Wolverines in a number of games Head-to-head with All-Ameri-
this season. So he called on senior can-caliber wide receiver Michael
James Rogers, whose only starts to Floyd last week against the Irish,
date had come at wide receiver. Rogers kept Floyd in relative check
Many Michi- for much of the
gan fans showed game, using
their concern, his size and
but Rogers saw "He's the old man the things he
it as an opportu- learned about
nity. of the group ... his Floyd on film to
"I feel like I shut down the
have nothing to leadership has big-time wide-
lose," Rogers said out.
on Monday. "I've been invaluable." Rogers saw
been from corner in film study
to receiver a few the week before
times, so every that Floyd would
week I go out and try to have fun stick his counterpart going inside
and play with enthusiasm." and then dart outside to finish
That strategy seems to have many of his athletic routes with a
worked for the not-so-experienced, reception. But before the Wolver-

ines' victory, Rogers had Floyd and
his moves figured out.
At least enough to hold him to
five catches for 66 yards.
Rodriguez said Rogers's perfor-
mance on the gridiron has been
"solid" in his two starts at corner,
but his biggest contribution may
be in filling Woolfolk's spot as the
group's de facto veteran teacher.
"When Troy went down, James
took control of that position,"
Rodriguez said. "He's the old man
of the group, surrounded by a
bunch of young guys and his vet-
eran leadership has really been
invaluable for us.".
And Rogers has taken that role,
as teacher, in stride, as several
members of the secondary have
pointed to his help as a huge part of
their success.
After all, with Woolfolk out for
the year and the team expected to
struggle in the defensive back-
field, Rogers' "nothing to lose"
attitude seemed to ring true for
the entire secondary.
"We're young, so the only thing
that came in our mind is that we
have to go out and have fun and
play with it," Rogers said. "There's
always been that weight on our
shoulders from the defensive
backfield anyway. When Troy
went down, I knew me as a senior,
I had to step up in my leadership
and make sure that these young
players are ready to play."
The Wolverines gave up the
second-most yards in a win in
school history against Notre
Dame last Saturday, including
two huge plays on offense that got
behind the secondary.
But despite the secondary's
poor play at times, Rogers knows a
win is a win, especially for a group
that was expected to struggle this
season.
"I think we justgo outthere and
play relentless," Rogers said. "If
something bad happens, you just
have to keep going out to play."

Senior becomes first
Michigan golfer in
71 years to qualify
By KEVIN RAFTERY
Daily Sports Writer
No matter what the Michigan
men's golf team accomplishes
this year, it will be hard to beat
what senior Lion Kim has already
achieved.
On July 17th, Kim did what only
one other Wolverine has done in
the history of Michigan golf. He
qualified for the Masters, the most
prestigious professional golf tour-
nament in the world. The last was
Chuck Kocsis, who did it 71 years
ago.
Kim qualified by defeating
David McDaniel of Tucson, Ari-
zona 6-and-5 in the final round of
match play at the 85th U.S. Ama-
teur Public Links Championship in
Greensboro, NC.
But it was the way he qualified
that makes the featcthat muchmore
remarkable.
Competing against a field of 156
of America's best amateur golfers,
Kim faced a long and difficult jour-
ney to the finals, to say the least.
He would have to finish in the top
64 after two rounds of stroke play,
and then he would have to win five
match play matches in a span of
three days in orderto make it to the
36-hole final.
"In every tournament I play
in, I always feel like I have a good
chance to win," Kim said. "And
part of that is because I know I've
prepared pretty well for every
event. Coming into this tourna-
ment, I had a lotofconfidence and I
just told myself, 'Stick to your game
plan.'"
That confidence would be key
for Kim as he weaved his way
through the brackets.
After shooting 70-73 in the
stroke-play rounds, Kim breezed
through the first four rounds of
match play with little trouble. But
in the semifinals, he found himself
downby two holes to Kevin Phelan,
a sophomore at the University of
North Florida, with just six to play.
"Even thoughI was two down, I
still felt confident about my game,"
Kim said. "I just told myself that I
just need to win one hole, and if I do
that, I know I'll get the momentum
back."
Kim eagled the 15th to close the
gap to one, and he birdied 17 and 18
to seal the match.
"That was actually the tough-
est match out of the six matches I
won," Kim said, "because we had
to win holes with birdies and even
with eagles. Kevin is a greatplayer."
But it was in the 36-hole final
match when Kim's mental abilities
were challenged to the fullest.
After completing the first 12
holes with a two-hole lead, rain
moved into the area and officials
were forced to call for a rain delay.
Seven hours later,Kim and McDan-
iel were still sitting inthe clubhouse
waiting for the delayto end.
"It was a long seven hours, and
it felt even longer because I was so
anxious to get back up knowing
that I'm so close to winning the
tournament," Kim said.

Luckily for Kim, he had his good
luck charm there to help keep him
calm and focused.
"I have to give all the credit to
my mom," he said. "We talked a
lot. She kept me relaxed. We talked
about everything, even from my
childhood days and about what her
childhood days were like."
Finally, at 4:51 p.m. - seven
hours and eight minutes from
when the delay was called - play
resumed. And when Kim stepped
back on the course, he picked up
right where he left off. He won
holes 13 and 14 and immediately
took a four-hole lead. From there,
he would have no troubles - that
is, until Mother Nature stepped in
again, threatening to prolong the
tournament once again.
Heading into number 13 for the
second time around, Kim held a
commanding seven-stroke lead
with seven holes to play. But as
both players headed to the tee box,
darkness engulfed the area. Kim
and McDaniel could barely see five
feet in front of them, let alone fol-
low a golf ball hundreds of yards. A
rules official approached both play-
ers to ask whatcthey wanted to do.
"It was pitch dark," Kim
recalled. "I was really close to
closing the match up. I just told
him, 'Hey, let's keep playing.' I just
thought that momentum was on
my side and I had a pretty big lead,
and I think he pretty much knew
thathisbestchanceofwinningwas
really done at that point."
Minutes later, Kim found him-
self staring down an eight-foot par
putt in the dark to win the tourna-
ment. Somehow, he made the putt
with only the ability to see his ball
and the cup, and he had officially
earned himself a bid to the Mas-
ters.
"That feeling is what all golfers
live for," Kim said. "I've been wait-
ingfor averylongtime to win agolf
tournament, and to finally get my
first big win under my belt was a
huge relief. One of the first things
that popped into my head was, 'It's
official. I'mgoing toget an invite to
the Masters.' And that is truly awe-
some."
In less than seven months, Kim
will be playing alongside seasoned
pros such as Phil Mickelson, Jim
Furyk, and yes - Tiger Woods.
"It'd be a dream come true to
play alongside Tiger Woods at a
major championship," Kim said.
"In my opinion, he is the best ath-
lete in the world. If that happens it
will be a life-changing experience,
golf-wise."
It is an incredible feat for any-
one, even the professionals, to
qualify for the Masters. But for a
college playerAlmost unheard of.
"Just the exposure that this will
give our program is huge," Michi-
gan head coach Andrew Sapp said.
"The Michigan bag is going to be
seen on CBS, worldwide. It is one
of those accomplishments for our
programthat really proves that you
can be a championship golfer at the
University of Michigan, and Lion
has proven that. I think it will help
in recruiting, and I think it will
help our current players as well"
"It'll truly be an honor for me to
represent the block 'M' at Augusta
National," Kim said. "I'm going to
do everything I can to represent
the University of Michigan well."
WANNA

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