Stories by Ron
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.
Earl Yestingsmeier remembered for his extraordinary foundation of college golf
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.
Balicki: Yestingsmeier was and always 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.
My year in golf: Ron Balicki, glass half full
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.
Michael McCoy, USGA, U.S. Mid-Amateur: Nice guy McCoy wins his life long goal of a USGA Championship
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.
Jordan Niebrugge wins Western Amateur, eyes Walker Cup 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.
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.
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.
Stanford's Patrick 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.
Western Amateur, Alotian Club, amateur golf: Jordan Niebrugge among trio of Western Amateur 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.
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.
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.
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.
Still advancing: Michael Kim, James 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.
Michael Kim, Jordan Niebrugge lead way to U.S. Publinx 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.
Some day: Michael Kim on a high from Walker Cup nod, APL match victory
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.
U.S. Senior Open to Publinx, Sean Knapp keeps grinding away
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.
Garrett Rank fired a 3-under 67 to take medalist honor in stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Amateur Public Links on Tuesday.
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.
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.
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.
Walker Cup: John '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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Illinois' Mike Small, Alex Burge and Thomas Pieters will convene on Sunday to talk about their plans for U.S. Open sectional qualifying.
Illinois' dream season continued while Cal's came to a heartbreaking end after the Illini won 3-2 Saturday in the NCAA Championship semifinals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Illinois earned a sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship after winning its first regional title Saturday at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.) 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.
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.
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.
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.
Cory Whitsett and his Alabama teammates claimed Linger Longer victory on a familiar Great Waters track.