Talah, Kramer star for ULV golf

Posted May 11, 2007
Christina Carter
Former Sierra League opponents, freshman Andrew Kramer and junior Jordan Talah are now teammates at ULV. Kramer, who has played golf for the better part of his life was named SCIAC player of the week. He began playing competitively as a freshman at Ayala High School in Chino Hills. Talah, who began his golf career at the age of 13, is a Glendora High School graduate who was named SCIAC player of the year. Both are expected to play at nationals on May 15.

In a year that La Verne golf has made a name for itself, two players have stood out prominently, junior Jordan Talah and freshman Andrew Kramer.

The taller Talah was recently honored as Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year, while the shorter, underclassman Kramer was named conference player of the week on April 26.

Together they are among the most skilled players on a strong ULV golf team this year.

The squad this season has won all of its conference meets and finished no lower than fifth place in all other played tournaments.

The team now looks forward to Nationals, where they expect both Talah and Kramer to be integral to ULV’s attempt to win the NCAA championship this year.

Yet the conference player of the year has exemplified his athletic ability in the gentlemen’s game throughout the season even though he has always strived to have a good time when he plays.

“It’s just fun to try to get better at it really,” Talah said. “That’s what initially drew me to it.”

“It’s just the ball. It goes really far. It’s a good feeling when you hit the ball well.”

Talah began playing golf at age 13 but cannot remember how the sport got introduced to him.

He began to get serious about his golf game at his alma mater Glendora High School, where he played all four years.

Like Talah, Kramer also played since he was a freshman at Ayala High School.

The Chino Hills native looks up to professional golfer Aaron Baddeley, also a young golfer, who turned pro in 2000.

“And of course Tiger Woods,” Kramer said.

Kramer’s success does not come without certain discipline and practice.
“As soon as I’m on the golf course, I don’t think about anything else,” Kramer said. “No distractions.”

In comparison, Talah is described by his friends and coach as having a great sense of humor, quiet until you get to know him laid-back and, most of all, consistent.

Consistency is what got him his prestigious title. His consistent swing is one that his coach, Rex Huigens, brags about and one that the team can count on to get low scores.

“He has the best swing tempo on the team,” Huigens said.

“Jordan is a guy that doesn’t get too overly excited or too down for anything. He is always under control and that’s what you need to be a golfer.”

As for Kramer, he relies on his patience, practice, support from his teammates and from his coach as well.

“He’s a tournament experienced freshman,” Huigens said. “I don’t worry about putting him into a pressure position.”

“I like Andrew, he’s a good kid,” said Nathan Logan, a senior business administration major and teammate.

“He’s a good player, putts well, and is a great asset for La Verne,” Logan said. “If he continues to improve, it’ll be scary.”

Kramer is looking forward to improving his game, and wishes to continue the great experience he had this year into next season.

He feels like he is one of the guys on the team; although only a freshman, he is happy to be accepted.

“I thank my team for opening up to me as a freshman, and Rex for being a great coach and inspiration.”

With Talah’s personality, he justifies his name with the team, with a wry tone in his voice and a sense of humor described by his best friend and teammate, junior Chris Davis, as “different, but in a cool way.”

That seemed to be a common theme when discussing Jordan with others, his funny side.

“He’s pretty quiet, but he has a great sense of humor, a wit that’s fun to be around,” Huigens said.

“He’s pretty funny once he’s relaxed and he gets to know you, but you gotta pay attention.”

“He makes everything look easy,” Davis said. “His swing is perfect, very textbook. If you were going to teach someone how to play golf, you would show them how Jordan plays.”

With graduation looming, Talah expressed that he would probably want to play professionally at some point, but for now he is going to try the amateur route.

For Kramer, he may only be a freshman but will be relied upon heavily next year as he builds towards his future and scholastic career at ULV.

“I’m counting on him heavily for next year,” Huigens said. “He’s added depth to the team, and I’m happy to have him.”

Before his SCIAC award on April 16, Kramer was awarded medalist honors at Los Serranos Country Club at the third SCIAC tournament.

Still Talah believes that after Nationals he will have time to build and get ready for his senior season.

“At the beginning of the summer, I’ll take a break,” Talah said. “Then I’ll start gearing up for summer tournaments. Usually it’s too hot for me. I can’t take the heat.”

As for the entire team, it is selected among 35 teams across the nation that will compete in the NCAA championships this year.

The championships are scheduled to take place May 15-18 at Hawthorns Golf and Country Club and Prairie View Golf Club both in Indiana.

La Verne gained an automatic bid to the national championships by winning the SCIAC championship.

Currently the Leopards rank No. 3 in the latest Division III national poll trailing only two North Carolina schools, No. 2 Guilford College and No. 1 Methodist University.

ULV is hoping to improve on its showing at last year’s NCAA championships in Nebraska, where the team finished 13th overall.

Prior to this season, the team’s highest finish at nationals was a sixth place finish in 2004.

However, with both of these players to blossom, every other competitor at Nationals, including all the teams in SCIAC, should be aware of these up and coming players from ULV.

Dustin Smith can be reached at dsmith9@ulv.edu. Taryn Aguilar can be reached at taguilar@ulv.edu.

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