STEVE HANLON: What a way to go out young man

2013-06-14T17:45:00Z 2013-09-16T18:54:13Z STEVE HANLON: What a way to go out young manSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
June 14, 2013 5:45 pm  • 

FRANKLIN | Don't you get tired of turning on ESPN's SportsCenter a lot? The same old police blotter updates from spoiled, overpaid athletes who treat the average Joe like dirt and belittle those in the stands.

If not for the Blackhawks right now I'd likely never turn on ESPN. The Rae Carruth, John Daly, E. Gordon Gee and Milton Bradley stories are sickening. And there are hundreds more, too.

Yet sports talk radio is filled with hour upon hour of gibberish. Many still go to auto racing events just to watch a crash.

Then, just when you've had enough, you see something special, like Valparaiso senior golfer Patrick Andrie.

What he did at Wednesday's IHSAA state golf championship didn't earn him a medal or a trophy that could choke a dinosaur, but it was awesome.

It is why we love to watch the games. Or should.

Andrie walked off of No. 18 at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin. Neither he, nor his Vikings, did what they wanted to do in the two-day event. They didn't shoot their best. They left too many shots out on the course.

That happens. To all of us. Every day.

Andrie, though, had a smile on his face as he walked off the course. He got countless hand shakes and pats on the back. The 80 on his card was because he "sprayed drives all over the place." So he scrambled on his way in.

He will attend Georgia in the fall and study business. The Bulldogs got a lot in this student as the rest of his story is told.

Andrie waited for every team member to come in. The fourth-ranked Vikings shot a 612 and finished 12th. The team Valpo beat at the regional, Westfield, won the state title.

That's how golf goes. Which is why I quit teeing it up about 15 years ago.

So Andrie started over to get an overpriced beverage from the overpriced concession stand and noticed something on the scoreboard. Instead of an 80 they had a 79 next to his second-day score.

It didn't change who ended up on the podium. But it did show how to be a sportsman.

Andrie knew he could've drove back to Porter County and his score of 79 never would've been changed. No one would've known the error.

“Nobody would've caught it,” Andrie said on Wednesday afternoon. “But I would've known.”

He bogeyed the first hole but his score partner in the foursome wrote down a par. At the end of the hot, sticky round, Andrie didn't notice the error and signed the card.

He turned himself in for the mistake and was disqualified. His 157 would've tied him for No. 66 in the state. Instead, he finished dead last. No hardware.

But by being honest and forthright in an age where such things are rare, he will take something more important into the rest of his life.

“He turned himself in, he did the right thing,” Valpo coach Wayne Lichtenberger said. “I've loved what these guys have done this year competitively. But the integrity they've shown this year, the integrity Patrick showed there, that is why you coach.”

Thanks for breathing a fresh wind into the sports world. Now where's my remote so I can shut off this "story" about Oscar Pistorius. I couldn't care less.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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