DOWNERS GROVE – Teeing off over water is a harrowing situation for some golfers.
Now imagine doing it in a competitive setting, and the nerves would be ratcheted even higher. That’s precisely the situation Mike Bubenicek faces as a member of Millikin University’s men’s golf team. Even after years of playing golf competitively, with the Big Blue and at Downers Grove South, he admitted nerves still were a factor for him last season.
“I think I’ve gotten more experience from freshman year until now,” said Bubenicek, entering his junior year at Millikin. “I still get a little nervous at the bigger events like conference, but I’m not as nervous and I’m able to go out, get a good score and help the team.”
Bubenicek helped his team plenty last season. He earned his second varsity letter as a member of Millikin’s golf team in June after a season in which he helped the Big Blue win the Weist Foundation Classic tournament in April with a 36-hole team-record score of 570. During that same tourney, Bubenicek had a two-round total of 146, including a 67 that tied for the second-lowest round in program history.
This summer, Bubenicek has been doing everything he can to ensure his junior season is better than his sophomore campaign.
“Whenever I’m not working, I’m golfing,” said Bubenicek, who is working this summer at Willow Crest Golf Club in Oak Brook. “I probably golf seven days a week or do something to help my game almost every day.”
As part of his summer, Bubenicek qualified for the 64th Illinois Open Championship, which started Monday and concludes today at the Glen Club in Glenview. He hoped to make it to today’s final round as a springboard toward Millikin’s upcoming season, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 8.
“This fall, we’re going to an invite in Florida as a team, and I’d really like to do well as a team and show everyone that we’re coming together as a team,” Bubenicek said. “We had an outstanding year last year, and now we hope to keep it going this fall.”