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Iowa golfer Winslow uses perseverance to succeed

BY TOMMY REINKING | OCTOBER 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa men’s golfer Steven Ihm needed only one word to describe teammate Joseph Winslow: Persistent.

After battling pneumonia and unpredictability in his game in the fall of his freshman year, Winslow turned everything around to become only the sixth All-American in the history of Iowa golf.

“He’s one of those guys that can make nine birdies in a row without even thinking about it,” Ihm said.

“Last year, his game was a little inconsistent in the fall. He’d make a lot of those birdies, but he’d also make a lot of big numbers. This year, he’s just learned to keep the big numbers off the scorecard.”

With three years left in his college career and those initial struggles behind him, the sophomore firmly believes he can continue to be one of the greatest assets to the Hawkeyes.

“I want to be an All-American again this year,” the Overland Park, Kan., native said. “I’m going to be patient and take everything one tournament at a time. If I focus and work hard, it can definitely happen.”

Winslow didn’t have the best start to this season, however. The sophomore didn’t play well enough to qualify into the starting squad sent to the Golden Gopher Invite, the team’s first tournament of the year.

“I just felt a little off,” he said. “There were some distractions from school, and I didn’t quite make it. Those distractions are gone, and I can continue to work hard and play well.”

In his first tournament of the year, the Golfweek Conference Challenge, Winslow carded a score of 4-over and finished tied for 15th place individually. He holed the third most birdies in the event.

Winslow again was a birdie machine in the Hawkeyes next tournament, the Rod Myers Invitational. His 14 birdies finished third-most in the event and he tied for 18th place with a three-round score of 2-over.

Being able to improve and adjust quickly is something head coach Mark Hankins said has helped Winslow persevere through the more difficult times in his career.

“He’s getting better. He’s already gotten better,” the sixth-year coach said. “He came back from the summer and didn’t qualify. We needed to change some things. He worked on his golf swing a little bit, and he was open to listening. Those changes have made golf a lot easier for him.”

The success Winslow has seen so far was far from a surprise to anyone on the team. Winslow came to Iowa specifically to compete. That very same objective was the reason Hankins recruited the golfer.

“He was the highest-ranked junior golfer we’ve recruited,” Hankins said. “He was probably ranked around 20th in the nation by the [American Junior Golf Association]. From there, it was just getting him acclimated to college golf and playing to his potential.”

Winslow said that despite what individual successes and despite any pressures he may face, he may achieve in the next few years, the success of the team will always come first.

“My No. 1 goal is for the team to do well,” he said. “To help the team do that, I’d like to shoot under par every round.”


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