Mount St. Joseph University

Freshman golfer brings fresh perspective

Admission & Financial Aid, Dateline: student newspaper, Sports

By: Weston Atchison

File Under: men's golf, athletics

People golfing.

This year the Lion’s Men’s Golf team welcomed a one-of-a-kind golfer, freshman Ryan Korengel.

Korengel came to the Mount from Madeira High School in Cincinnati, where he averaged 53 strokes per nine holes. However, it is not just Korengel’s scoring average that makes him special. He does it by playing one handed.

Korengel was 12 years old, playing golf, when a tree fell on him. He was rushed to the hospital, where he and his parents learned that he would no longer have use of the left side of his body. Doctors thought he would not be able to walk again. As a result of the accident, he is also blind in one eye.

Korengel came into contact with the Head Men’s Golf Coach, Joe Sparhawk, during his senior year at Madeira. He had already made his decision to come to the Mount but he had his eyes set on playing golf, as well. “I always wanted to play golf in college. My former teammate, Stephen Beamer, plays for the Mount, and he gave Coach my number, for him to contact me,” said Korengel.

According to Coach Sparhawk, Korengel was the first committed recruit for the Mount’s athletic program, as a whole, this year.  Sparhawk said Korengel brings his attitude to the team. "Ryan’s attitude rubs off on the whole team, including myself. We tend to take this game too seriously. We want to play the best we can, but his over-all attitude of getting over bad shots and rounds is helping others learn that, by his example. Ryan grinds, and does his very best every time he plays. His positive attitude has been infectious to the rest of his teammates,” said Sparhawk. 

Korengel had no idea what to say when asked what he thinks he brings to the team. After some thought he said, “I guess I’m hoping to lead by example by being the first to practice and last to leave, to work hard in workouts and everything else until I am able to contribute with my scores and other ways like that.”

Korengel has been a welcome edition and amazing success story added to the Mount’s Men’s Golf team, as well as its athletic program, as a whole, said Sparhawk. Korengel also shared that Sept. 14 marked the sixth year anniversary of the accident. This year he celebrated it by playing in his first ever collegiate tournament, at the Battle of the Brook in Sandusky, Ohio.