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Ron Balicki

Stories by Ron

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Balicki: Howard’s end came with personal dignity

Ron Balicki passed away after an eight-month battle with cancer on Tuesday. He is best known for the man that he was, but he could also write with the best of them, including this award-winning feature on Barclay Howard.

Yestingsmeier remembered for college support

Many times when a college golf coach retires, he or she creates some distance from the program. Not so with Earl Yestingsmeier. He had been as faithful to Ball State in retirement as he had been in 36 years as coach.

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Balicki: Yestingsmeier was and will be Ball State golf

Senior writer Ron Balicki reflects on his time with former Ball State head coach Earl Yestingsmeier, who died Jan. 9 at his home in Muncie, Ind. Balicki says Yestingsmeier was and always has been Ball State golf.

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My year in golf: Ron Balicki

For amateur and college golf senior writer Ron Balicki, 2013 was a year of a glass half full and a glass half empty – as his season and his life changed dramatically during a pivotal week.

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McCoy wins his lifelong dream: a USGA title

Mike McCoy has been a dominating presence in his home state of Iowa for nearly a quarter century. Now he has added the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship to his resume.

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Niebrugge wins Western Am, eyes Walker spot

Jordan Niebrugge won the rain-delayed Western Amateur, capping an incredible three-week run by the Oklahoma State sophomore who now hopes for a Walker Cup berth.

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Rain stops Dale vs. Niebrugge Western Am final

Two lengthy weather delays Sunday will bring about a Monday finish as Jordan Niebrugge and Sean Dale compete for the 111th Western Amateur title.

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Niebrugge into semis at Western Am; Rodgers out

Sean Dale -- a Walker Cup hopeful and recent North Florida grad -- made his case for a spot on the U.S. squad with a 2-up victory over Patrick Rodgers on Saturday at the Western Amateur, sending the tournament's stroke-play medalist and two-time Walker Cup selection home a bit prematurely.

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Stanford's Rodgers medals at Western Amateur

The Stanford junior closed with a 3-under 69 – his fourth consecutive round in the 60s – earning him medalist honors with a Western Am qualifying-record 18-under 270.

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Niebrugge among trio of Western Am leaders

Three players shared the lead Wednesday at the halfway point of Western Amateur stroke play. Seth Reeves, who was tied with two others after an opening 65 at Alotian Club, along with Patrick Rodgers and Jordan Niebrugge sat atop the leaderboard at 9-under 135.

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Reeves, Smith, Wilson tied for Western Am lead

Seth Reeves, Sam Smith and Cameron Wilson all fired 7-under 65s – one off the course record at The Alotian Club – to take the lead at the Western Amateur on Tuesday.

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Niebrugge knocks off Kim in thrilling APL finale

Michael Kim made it interesting with a late comeback, but Oklahoma State's Jordan Niebrugge held off the Cal All-American for a 1-up victory in the U.S. Amateur Public Links finale on Saturday.

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Kim, Niebrugge advance to APL finale

Jordan Niebrugge’s resume over the past year in college and amateur golf pales in comparison with those of Michael Kim. But, on Saturday, they'll step up to the first tee as equals as they face off for the U.S. Amateur Public Links title.

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Kim, Erkenbeck star in Public Links quarterfinals

Michael Kim and James Erkenbeck, a pair of first-team All-Americans last season, won their quarterfinal matches Friday morning in the 88th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Laurel Hill Golf Club.

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Kim, Niebrugge lead way to APL quarterfinals

Michael Kim never trailed in an afternoon victory over Mitchell Rutledge in advancing to the round of eight in the U.S. Amateur Public Links.

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Kim wins APL match, gets Walker Cup nod

It was quite a day for Michael Kim, the Cal junior who last season won the Haskins and Jack Nicklaus awards as college golf’s best player.

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Senior Open to Publinx, Knapp keeps grinding

Sean Knapp, 51, of Oakmont, Pa., is one of the rare 'old-timers' among the 156 players in a field whose average age is 23.6.

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Hockey ref Rank takes medalist honor at APL

Garrett Rank fired a 3-under 67 to take medalist honor in stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Amateur Public Links on Tuesday.

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Marines' Lambeth advances to APL match play

Addison Lambeth doesn’t get a lot of time to work on his golf game, let alone play in a competitive event. His day job as a policeman Marine Corps pretty much takes up the bulk of his time. But his 3-over 143 was good enough to advance to match play at the U.S. Amateur Public Links.

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Saunders takes advantage of unexpected APL slot

Sam Saunders -- no, not Arnold Palmer's grandson -- fired a 4-under 66 on Monday at the U.S. Amateur Public Links, taking full advantage of his 11th-hour berth into the championship.

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Pacific's Sugimoto fires 63 to take Public Links lead

University of Pacific junior Eric Sugimoto fires a 7-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

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'Spider' Miller named 2015 U.S. Walker Cup captain

John "Spider" Miller has been named the 2015 U.S. captain for the Walker Cup, which will take place Sept. 12-13 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, England.

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Glass begins search for Northeast Am successor

Denny Glass, longtime Northeast Amateur tournament chairman, must search for another replacement as heir apparent Joe Sprague Jr., accepts a job with the U.S. Golf Association.

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Whitsett wins Northeast Amateur with final-round 63

Cory Whitsett figured the best way to combat against a hard-charging offense is with a defense that is, well, an almost equally impressive offense. That’s what the left-hander and senior-to-be at Alabama did Saturday in the final round on his way to victory in the 52nd Northeast Amateur at Wannamoisett Country Club.

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McGraw accepts OSU firing philosophically

For Mike McGraw, it’s decompression time as he deals with his recent firing as men’s golf coach at Oklahoma State. After eight seasons at the Cowboys’ helm and with the 2006 NCAA title on his resume, McGraw was let go Friday by athletic director Mike Holder, the man whom McGraw replaced as coach in the fall of 2005.

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Becker reclaims solo lead at Northeast Amateur

Rafael Becker had an up-and-down even-par 69 Friday, but it was enough to reclaim the solo lead over Cameron Wilson and two others after the Northeast Amateur's third round.

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Opposites Wilson, Becker share Northeast lead

At the halfway point of the 52nd Northeast Amateur, the two do, in fact, have a common thread -- they share the lead at 6-under 132.

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Becker posts easy 62 for Northeast Am lead

By today’s standards, Wannamoisett Country Club would be considered a short golf course. It measures just more than 6,700 yards and plays to something also nearly unheard of in this day and age: a par 69.

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'Bama builds on heartbreak to earn 1st title

“The last two years have been hard, really gut-wrenching," Alabama coach Jay Seawell said of the hard lessons that preceded the Tide's first national championship.

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Balicki: Illinois proves it can hang with the big boys

With Cal, Alabama and Texas drew the bulk of the attention in the college golf world this season, but it was upstart Illinois that nearly stole the show, proving that the Illini's program is alive and well.

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U.S. Open qualifying not highest priority for Small

Illinois' Mike Small, Alex Burge and Thomas Pieters will convene on Sunday to talk about their plans for U.S. Open sectional qualifying.

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Illinois upsets Cal in NCAA semifinal

Illinois' dream season continued while Cal's came to a heartbreaking end after the Illini won 3-2 Saturday in the NCAA Championship semifinals.

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Behind Burge, Illinois knocks off defending champ Texas

Nearly left out of the lineup on numerous occasions, Mike Small's continued commitment to Alex Burge paid off after the Illinois' sophomore beat Texas' Cody Gribble to secure the clinching point in Friday's NCAA quarterfinals.

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Cal leads way to NCAA match play, above fray

The good news for California – it won the 54-hole stroke-play qualifying portion of the NCAA Championship. The bad news for the Bears – no team in has won the title after doing so in this format.

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Korte ends college career with trip to big show

There’s no better way to close out your college career than playing in the NCAA Championship, especially when your team is not with you and it’s your first trip to college golf’s big show. Just ask Austin Peay's Dustin Korte.

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NCAA trip rewards Ball State's Yestingsmeier

Earl Yestingsmeier has missed only three tournaments over the last 51 years for Ball State University. Here's the catch: The last 15 years have been as a retired former coach.

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Balicki: Breaking down the odds at men's NCAAs

Here is a look at my odds for the 2013 NCAA Men's Championship, set to start on May 28 at Capital City Golf Club's Crabapple Course in Woodstock, Ga.

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Whom to pick: Alabama or Cal? Wrong Ron weighs in . . .

After giving plenty of consideration to 2012 runner-up Alabama, our Ron Balicki (aka, Wrong Ron) has decided that California is destined to cap its golden season with a victory.

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SEC proves to be best conference in men's golf

Which was the best conference in college golf this season? If you base it off the 30 teams at this week's NCAAs, the SEC is a clear winner says our Ron Balicki.

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Fayetteville Regional: Illinois wins first region title

Illinois earned a sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship after winning its first regional title Saturday at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional.

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Fayetteville Regional: Arkansas surges into lead

Arkansas is taking advantage of playing on a familiar course, as the host Razorbacks hold the lead after two rounds of the NCAA Fayetteville Regional at Blessings Golf Club.

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Fayetteville: Illinois' Danielson fires career-low 65

After struggling in the spring season and barely making Illinois' regional squad, Charlie Danielson fired a 7-under 65 to take the individual lead at the Fayetteville Regional.

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Fayetteville Regional: Illinois men lead by 3

The Illinois Fighting Illini were in full stride in the opening round at the Fayetteville, Ark., regional, shooting 6-under 282 to take a three-stroke lead.

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Balicki: Northeast Am's Glass leaves incredible legacy

Denny Glass, who has been tournament chairman for the Northeast Amateur in Rumford, R.I., since 1994, announced his retirement from that post last week. But his impact will be felt for years.

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Balicki: A long, hot Walker Cup summer

In Walker Cup summers, there’s a lot more grinding, a lot more tension. Every drive, every putt, every shot could mean the difference between being selected to represent your country and being left out.

St. Mary's (Calif.) claims victory at WCC Championship

St. Mary’s (Calif.) became the first men’s Division I team to punch its ticket into this year’s NCAA post-season when it captured the West Coast Conference Championship, April 17, at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.

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Alotian Club to welcome public for Western Am

For the first time since it opened in 2004, the Alotian Club will open its gates to the spectating public for the 111th Western Amateur on July 30-Aug. 4.

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Notebook: Is UNLV a contender or pretender?

This week's college notebook talks about UNLV being contenders or pretenders, how Alabama keeps on rollin' and the .500 rule in college golf for the postseason.

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Notebook: Miss. St. wins again, eyes home tourney

The Mississippi State Bulldogs men's golf team is piling up an impressive record without gaining widespread recognition for it, but stands to improve on its No. 32 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking.

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Whitsett, 'Bama maintain good vibe at Great Waters

Cory Whitsett and his Alabama teammates claimed Linger Longer victory on a familiar Great Waters track.

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