Sunday, June 1, 2003

Q&A with Kevin Hall

OSU golfer sets sights on PGA

Kevin Hall.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
DUBLIN, Ohio - Kevin Hall, the former St. Rita/Winton Woods High golf star who recently finished his junior season at Ohio State, made his annual pilgrimage this weekend to Muirfield Village Golf Club to watch the Memorial. Hall, who is deaf, was featured two weeks ago in a three-page story in Sports Illustrated's golf-insert edition. He took a few minutes to answer questions from Enquirer reporter John Erardi.

Q: You attended a Tiger Woods clinic as a youngster. Now that you're in Columbus, do you try to follow him around the course during the Memorial?

A: I don't really like following Tiger's group because of the crowds, but I usually pick a hole where I can get a good view when Tiger passes by. I watch a wide variety of players to see if I can learn something.

Q: What was your personal and team golf highlight this season? What tournaments will you play this summer?

A: My personal highlight was making a hole-in-one in California. The team highlight was breaking through at our home tournament by winning it in fashion. I haven't really looked at my tournament schedule yet, but I am looking forward to the big tournaments such as the Men's Met, qualifiers like The U.S. Public Links, Western Amateur and the U.S. Amateurs.

Q: What are your pro aspirations? And what are your non-golf aspirations if you don't make it on the pro tour?

A: I aspire to make it to the PGA Tour someday, and when I make it, to win a tournament and go from there. Should any of this fail, I aspire to be a journalist, covering local sports and interviewing athletes.

Q: Whom do you try to emulate, in swing style, in approach to golf and in conduct on and off the course?

A: I would love to say I like Tiger's swing the most, but that would be a lie. His swing is too powerful for me to try to emulate. I try to follow Ernie Els' swing and tempo. It's probably the most effortless swing I have ever seen. I also like Mike Weir's hitman-like attitude on the course. He just comes in, does his business nice and quickly, and leaves without a trace. I like Len Mattiace's attitude off the golf course, humble and honest, and he's also not afraid to express his feelings.

Q: Third-year PGA Tour player Charles Howell III isn't much bigger than you. He's 5 feet 11 and 155 pounds, and really bombs the ball off the tee. ... What do you think of him?

A: I know he has a very powerful swing and great fundamentals that will take him a long way. I have heard a story over and over about how he would drive down every week from his home in Georgia to Florida to see David Leadbetter to take lessons from him. I use it as motivation to never give up my passion for golf.

Q: Have you played Muirfield? Have you ever met Jack Nicklaus, the tournament founder and course designer?

A: I have played Muirfield three times, I believe. It was just for fun with the team. I think my best score was a 73 when I played with a former teammate. I have met Jack Nicklaus twice, once at the PGA championship clinic in 2000, and last year at Muirfield in a gallery watching (Jack's son), Gary. He just told me to keep up what I was doing and to work hard.

Q: Have you been back to St. Rita to put on any clinics or impart any wisdom to the students there?

A: I went back to St. Rita two years ago to talk with kids about college, but since then, I've not had any meetings or lectures.

Q. Tell us about Tiger's golf clinic that you attended.

A. It was 1999 and it was at Glenview (Golf Course). Tiger told me to have a wider extension on my take-away. It helped me hit the ball farther and straighter.

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