Wetsch transfers experience

By Steve Shonder

Junior Jordan Wetsch is giving men’s golf a boost despite being in only his first semester with the Huskies.

Wetsch transferred to NIU after a one-year stint at Colorado State. Since then, he’s been one of the Huskies’ best golfers. In his last outing at the Erin Hills Intercollegiate Oct. 7, Wetsch led the team by shooting a 223, which tied him for 21st overall.

Having been at three schools — he spent one semester his freshman season at Wisconsin — Wetsch has brought experience to the Huskies and has worked with his fellow upperclassmen to lead the young team, which he intended to do upon entering NIU.

“That was kind of my goal coming in to help out and kind of be a leader for the younger guys because we have a really young team,” Wetsch said. “We have [three] freshmen and five sophomores and then two [other] older guys. The older guys are kind of working together to share tasks and help lead the team.”

At Colorado State, Wetsch made an immediate splash, winning the Ram Masters Invitational while competing as an individual. Despite forcing his way into the Rams’ lineup, he wasn’t able to receive scholarship money. This sent Wetsch, of St. Charles, looking for a team closer to home. Head coach Tom Porten offered Wetsch a spot with the Huskies, which he accepted.

After struggling in the first two outings of the fall season, Wetsch got into the swing of things at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational Sept. 29. He finished the tournament tied for 14th place and shot a 218 to lead the Huskies.

The recent success hasn’t put much weight on Wetsch’s shoulders. Wetsch said he is still working on his game and not taking the early tournaments too seriously.

“I don’t feel much pressure because we’re just out here having fun,” Wetsch said. “It’s the first few tournaments. It’s getting back into the swing of things and travelling and working on time management stuff. It’s been a pretty good adjustment but not much pressure whatsoever.”

Even if Wetsch starts to feel the pressure, Porten said he’s not too concerned because of Wetsch’s team-first attitude.

“He’s not feeling any pressure,” Porten said. “He’s got a lot of faith and trust in his teammates. He’s going to relax, but he also plays his best under pressure.”

The move to NIU has been an easy one for Wetsch, especially with the unenviable task of having to be the new guy on the team and trying to add to a thin corps of experienced leadership. Including Wetsch, the Huskies only have three upperclassmen competing, tripling the total from the 2014 spring season.

“It’s kind of tough at first because you have to feel out some of the guys and understand where they’re coming from and different personalities and stuff,” Wetsch said. “After transferring from school to school, I’ve kind [of] worked on those skills and [become] accustomed to meeting new people. It’s been good, and I’ve got to meet a lot people along the way. It’s been a good transition.”