“In coach Tom Porten’s eyes, senior Blake Sattler has been the engine behind the program’s resurgence. So much so that even when his game is off, he still helps the team. That may have been the case this week as the Zips took third at the Colorado Stevinson-Ranch Invitational.””
In coach Tom Porten’s eyes, senior Blake Sattler has been the engine behind the program’s resurgence.So much so that even when his game is off, he still helps the team.That may have been the case this week as the Zips took third at the Colorado Stevinson-Ranch Invitational. Sattler carded the third-best score out of five Akron golfers.Blake is the most experienced and accomplished player on the team, Porten said. He’s who these guys look to for leadership on the course. Sattler missed the 2005-06 season due to a mysterious illness. He still suffers side effects of that illness today, yet it doesn’t deter him from being a leader to his teammates. I think the team looks up to me more from an experience aspect, since I’ve played well on both junior and amateur levels, Sattler said. I may not always be the guy with the lowest score, but I like to think they look to me for advice.Sattler says that while he still suffers from the physical effects of having a year off, it’s the mental edge that has been the hardest to regain. I’ve had to learn to manage a round all over again, to re-focus after making some bad shots. It takes a strong mental toughness to recover from a string of bad holes.The team enjoyed a successful fall season. Victories at the McLaughlin Tournament and the Mid-American Conference/Big East Challenge marked their first two-win season since 1989. Four golfers – Colin Clemente, Vaughn Snyder, Brad Wright and Sattler – took home MAC Player of the Week honors during that span.Along with Sattler, Porten’s philosophy could be the reason for the success.I preach something called ‘golf IQ’, the coach said. Throughout the course of a 72-hole tournament, little mistakes add up, such as mental lapses in course management and putting. These players are developing into more disciplined golfers, and it has produced obvious results.Sattler and the Zips had their golf IQ put to the ultimate test earlier this week, as the team battled swirling winds and rain at the tournament in California. The Zips tied for third with three other teams, including Kansas, who has won the event six of the past seven years. Wichita State took first with 881 strokes. Junior Colin Clemente could have done without the sudden shift in weather.When you’re exhausted from golfing all day, it is really important to be with it mentally at the end, to close out the round strong, said Clemente, who shot 232, good for 30th place. The last thing in the world I wanted to see on my final four holes was rain. After day one, Porten set his goal to reach the top five. On day two, the team shot the lowest total of any in the 15-team field. The weather was actually worse today than on Monday, Clemente said. It was much windier. But we played great team golf today. In college golf every shot counts, and we were able to eliminate the little mistakes and grind out a tough round.