Freshman makes impact quickly

Butler freshman golfer Andrew Eiler picked up the sport of golf at a young age.

Based on his first semester of collegiate golf, the Bulldogs should consider themselves lucky he did.

“Andrew is the hardest worker in the world,” junior teammate Matt Vitale said. “He meshed well with this team.”

Photo by Rachel Anderson

Eiler walked on to the team prior to the start of the fall season.

At his first collegiate event, the Green Bay Invitational in mid-September, he had the second-best score on the team and tied for eighth place in the tournament.

He shot a 73 on the first day of the event and went on to finish a stroke behind Butler’s top finisher, junior Andrew Wegeng.

Eiler held his own through the rest of the fall season, participating as one of Butler’s five scoring individuals in the team’s other four events.

In two of those four matches, he was again one of Butler’s top three finishers.

Like many athletes, the Culver native got his start in his sport of choice through family ties.

When his older brother first started playing in tournaments, a four-year-old Eiler was alongside him, either watching his brother play or hitting the practice greens.

When practicing, he would chip and putt for an hour or two while his brother played.

Eiler said it was not until the sixth grade that he became serious about pursuing golf.

“[In sixth grade] I found my current swing coach and took lessons about once a week,” Eiler said. “The longest amount of time I went without a lesson was two weeks.”

Eiler said his time at Culver Academy helped to prepare him for both playing golf at a higher level and college life.

“Time management was a key skill I picked up at Culver,” Eiler said. “It made the transition to college life much easier.”

Eiler said motivation is not a worry for him either.

“Hitting a bad shot is enough motivation to keep working hard to improve as hitting a good shot is,” Eiler said.

Eiler described his time spent during most summers as “practically living at the golf course.” He said he goes to the course or driving range to clear his head.

Butler coaches and players have only heaped praise upon Eiler and his play so far this season.

One of Butler’s other freshman golfers, Logan Holt, echoed Vitale’s thoughts on Eiler’s work ethic, adding that the two share somewhat of a rivalry both on and off the course.

“Our matches get pretty intense, and we always have pretty epic battles on the links,” Holt said. “[I beat him] in NBA2K12 every weekend, and those games get almost as heated as the golf matches.”

Coach Bill Mattingly used the terms “resilient” and “competitor” to describe Eiler.

“On the course, he is very calm and able to bounce back from a bad hole,” Mattingly said.

The Bulldogs will likely need Eiler to put those qualities on display when the team heads to Florida during spring break.

Butler will compete in three separate events during the trip.

First the Bulldogs will take on Evansville and Cleveland State in a dual meet.

After that, Butler will compete in the Benbow and Butler Invitationals.

During the same trip last season, Butler was led by now-graduated Ryan Wegeng and finished second of two teams, ninth of 11 teams and fourth of four teams in the three events.

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