Suffolk junior named to GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team

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By Colin Barry

Golfer Patrick Hambleton has been named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference All-Sportsmanship Team.

“I’m kind of surprised, but very thankful,” Hambleton said.

The GNAC All-Sportsmanship Team honors college athletes on both the athletes’ abilities and their overall attitude in their respective sport.

“I put a lot of time and effort into golf, practicing over the summer,” he said.

Hambleton, a marketing major, has 11 years of golf experience.

“Since I was about nine, I started golfing,” he said. “I started playing at the Merrimack Valley Golf Course in Methuen.”

The GNAC is a Division III conference that encompasses several schools in the New England area, including Suffolk. The conference selects one athlete from each sport that the school has to nominate.

The GNAC selects those they believe to hold their sport in high regard and display courtesy to those who are also playing the game.

“I am happy to represent Suffolk as a whole, but also as myself,” Hambleton said.

Hambleton he said thinks that his attitude on the course is always well-mannered.

“With golf, you can’t be upset,” he said. “You always have to have a positive mindset. I’m always telling guys when they made a good shot.”

Golf is often seen as a sport with respect and dignity. In regards to how a golfer should act after a match, Hambleton said, “Always shake hands with your opponent, and always take your hat off in respect.”

In preparation for what can be a difficult sport to master, Hambleton has a specific training regimen.

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

“Before every match, I put a weight on a club,” he said. “It helps out with my swing.”

Along with the rest of the team, Hambleton uses the driving range as often as possible to perfect his hitting.

The Eastern College Athletic Conference Golf Championships proved to be one of Hambleton’s best athletic performances this year. Despite a rough start to the match, Hambleton was able to finish 39th overall and place second on Suffolk’s team.

This year has proved to be eventful for the Suffolk men’s golf team as a whole, with the emergence of freshman golfer Stephen Ferrante.

“He is a real promising freshman,” Hambleton said, showing his humility. “He’s got a lot to offer the team.”

The team recently wrapped up its 2015 season at the 81st Annual New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Championship. Unfortunately for the Rams, they placed 19 out of 22. Rhode Island College won the championship for a second year in a row.

“Rhode Island College is the real powerhouse team,” Hambleton said.

Despite being a long-time golf player, Hambleton joined the team his sophomore year. He plans on playing his senior year and will become eligible for the NCAA if he plays for four years.

In his spare time, Hambleton says miniature golf is great practice with some of the difficult aspects of golf.

“I actually am a fan of mini-golf. I love to compete with some of the members of the golf team,” Hambleton says with a chuckle.

“It actually helps with those short-handed putts on the green.”

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