Reporter: Riyad Alli
Who doesn’t enjoy watching the underdog triumph? UOIT student Kevin Jovanov was able to rise from his position as the “extra sub” on the golf team to finishing with the best score of 38- over 79 at the OUA championships in Kitchener from October 20 to October 22.
“In the end, the coaches made an exception and I was the last guy who made the team as they bumped the number of players from seven to eight,” Jovanov explains. “Luckily for my sake, a few players weren’t able to make the first tournament so I got the call.”
He tries to play every sport, however, this summer Jovanov promised to specialize in golf.
“Knowing that an open tryout at was always an option at UOIT gave me extra motivation to practice throughout the summer months.”
Balancing schoolwork, a job and a sports team is a challenge for any student athlete, especially Jovanov, who is enrolled in teachers college at the downtown Oshawa campus.
“I bought a driving range membership and would pop in after work almost every other day for about three to four hours. I’d say I spend about 15 hours a week practicing,” he says. “Once school starts and the competitive golf season begins, it’s a struggle to get out as much as I would like to because of school.”
Luckily, since Jovanov attends the downtown Oshawa campus. He is only a 15-minute walk from the school’s home course, Oshawa Golf Club.
“The team is very fortunate that such a great facility is willing to host us throughout the season. I would swing by for a few hours between classes to hit balls, practice the short game or even play nine holes,” he says.
Golf is a recreational sport only for Jovanov, but he doesn’t rule out the possibility of building a career out of it.
“Being a touring professional is the hardest thing to do in golf, but isn’t the only profession in the sport,” he explains. “Coupling my skill with a Bachelor of Education degree definitely could open some doors for me in terms of instruction.”
Often the competitiveness in sports can drain the fun but Jovanov appreciates the positive aspects of playing with a team.
“Every tournament was a great time, I really enjoyed how an individual sport like golf could have such a team aspect,” he explains.