Sometimes, Jack Whelan enjoys the mini-slumps that golf throws at him.
They don’t come along too often, but when the Topsfield resident struggles on the course it only pushes him to improve.
Whelan is now in his junior year at St. Lawrence University and is hoping to duplicate the success he had last year. A relatively slow start this fall has only increased Whelan’s focus.
Whelan was in the hunt for the individual title at this weekend’s Guy W. Kuhn Invitational hosted by Allegheny College, but he followed his first-round 73 with an 82 yesterday to fall out of contention. He finished second for St. Lawrence and 27th overall.
“There are a lot of ups and downs,” the 20-year-old Whelan said. “(Yesterday) was an ugly round and it gets you fired up to improve and do better to win a tournament — or at least have a better showing to see if we can get a win.
“It’s almost good to have one (bad round) occasionally. It makes you want to make sure you don’t have another one.”
Since arriving at St. Lawrence for the spring semester his freshman year, there have been very few ‘bad’ rounds for Whelan.
Whelan spent the first semester of freshman year at Loyola University in Maryland before transferring to St. Lawrence. He immediately made an impact and earned team MVP honors for his performance.
Last year was a record-setting season for Whelan. He won three tournaments, had six top 10 finishes and a school-record stroke average of 73.21. He set a St. Lawrence record with a low round of 66, and his 68-71-139 total in the Nazareth Tournament was also a program-best two-round score.
He finished the year with five rounds in the 60s, another St. Lawrence record. He was also named to the PING All-Region Team for the Northeast.