Former Ichabod looks to future

Josh Rouse

During the 2008-09 golf season, one name had a nearly permanent spot atop the team’s results: Matt Ewald.

The Academic All American, who spent most of the year as the No. 1 ranked golfer in Div. II, was the top scoring Ichabod in 11 of the 12 tournaments the team participated in during the fall 2008 and spring 2009 seasons. Ewald was the only Ichabod to participate in the NCAA Championships in Blaine, Wash., as the rest of the team didn’t qualify during regionals. Ewald said he faced the Championships with mixed emotions.

“Probably my favorite moment [of the season] was having my hole in one at nationals with my dad there, coach, my caddy and my fiancée, Lauren Lawless, there,” said Ewald. “That was probably the highlight. The lowlight was probably the flight to nationals. Obviously, not making it as a team from regionals was low, but getting on that airplane without everyone else was kinda sickening to the heart. I’ve never been to a tournament by myself before, as far as college goes. It was kind of one of those feelings where you know our team had the talent and everything to be there, we should have been there, but we weren’t going as a team.”

Ewald is trying to keep up with his golf game, despite starting an internship recently at Capital Federal in the financial reporting department and still taking six hours of classes. He said Q-School will be his next step toward a professional golf career, if he decides to go that direction, but right now his top priority was school.

“It’s one of those sports where you have to consistently put in at least four to five hours of work every day, versus basketball or something, I don’t think you’ve got to put quite as much into it,” said Ewald. “If you take off a few days, you’ll come back a few days later and realize this might feel different.”

Another factor for Ewald was his mindset. Rather than worrying about how he would do, he started to play just to have fun. He believes this mindset helped him overcome the pressure of winning so he could just concentrate on the game.

“I just go out and have fun and enjoy everything,” said Ewald. “If I played bad, you know, it’s golf-you’re gonna play bad. I think that attitude kind of helped me out as far as being consistent throughout the year. I’m just trying to enjoy things.”

Junior Matt Lazzo, who met Ewald through a friend during his senior year of high school and actually decided to transfer from Wichita State to Washburn because of him, said a golfer like Ewald is valuable to the team because of his consistency week in and week out as a top five player.

“You can’t replace a guy like that,” said Lazzo. “What we’ve gotta do now is what we didn’t do last year. All the guys on the team need to play well. That doesn’t mean everybody needs to almost win every tournament. We’ve gotta play well one through five. While we can have all five guys on the traveling team win the tournament, we won’t get top five week in and week out like Matt did. You could always rely on him to do that.”