Monday, May 20, 2013
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
John Hayes IV of Cape Elizabeth had one heck of a summer of golf. Now Hayes, 22, is trying to make the University of Colorado golf team as a walk-on.
Hayes spent a year and a half playing for Towson University in Maryland after graduating from Cape Elizabeth High in 2008.
After leaving Towson, he spent one semester at the University of Southern Maine. He transferred to Colorado prior to the start of last school year.
Hayes said he had lost interest in playing college golf after leaving Towson. Colorado, though, was one of the schools Hayes was interested in attending while he was in high school. A high-powered program that competes in the Pac-12, Colorado only considers the top players in the country for golf scholarships.
"There was no way I was going to get a scholarship out of high school," said Hayes.
Last summer, Hayes only played in a few tournaments. But his interest in playing was rekindled.
"I missed playing college golf," said Hayes. "I started practicing like crazy. I didn't take a day off. I worked really hard on my swing and ball striking. I played 18 to 36 holes a day."
The work paid off.
Hayes captured the state match play championship last month against a strong field at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. In the final, he shot 30 on the opening nine and went on to beat Curtis Jordan, 6 and 4. In July, he finished fifth at the Maine Amateur at Sunday River, and the next week he was fifth again in the New England Amateur at Falmouth Country Club. He was the top Maine finisher.
Hayes will try out for the Buffaloes' golf team on Sept. 12. Hayes and nine other walk-ons will play 36 holes. No spots are guaranteed. If the team does choose a walk-on, it won't necessarily be the player who shoots the lowest score. Hayes said the team is looking for a good player who shows the most determination and the best attitude.
Hayes said he's older, stronger and a much better player than when he was in the starting lineup at Towson.
"I've talked to the coach and it seems pretty promising, but I still have to go out and play," said Hayes, a business major.
Hayes loves the school. If the golf works out, that will make it even better.
TEE TO GREEN: Paul Piveronas, a teaching pro at The Woodlands Club in Falmouth, headed down to the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass., prior to the start of the tournament to work with John Senden, an Australian pro who entered the second leg of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs ranked 32nd in points. Piveronas watched Senden on the practice tee and also on the course, and offered any suggestions he felt warranted. The session was also to reaffirm what Senden is already doing.
Piveronas has earned a strong reputation as an instructor. Over the years he's worked with a number of PGA Tour pros. During the winter he'll head down to Florida to look over the swings of some pros. In most cases it's a tweak here or there and nothing more.
A couple of new golfers Piveronas has worked with and will work with are Ryan Gay of Pittston and Chelso Barrett of Keene, N.H. Gay struggled with his game this summer and was looking to straighten things out before he headed to St. John's University in New York City. Gay transferred from the University of New Mexico.
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