UMass hockey forward Tyson Dyck competes at Orchards Golf Club U.S. Open local qualifier

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer

Published: 05-09-2023 8:17 PM

SOUTH HADLEY – Tyson Dyck traded his spot on the line chart for a tee time.

The UMass freshman who finished his first season playing hockey for the Minutemen this spring competed in the U.S. Open Local Qualifier on Tuesday at the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley. Dyck excelled at the junior level in his native Canada and sought an opportunity to challenge himself.

“I grew up playing golf a bunch and I just love to compete,” he said. “There's no better opportunity to test yourself.”

He skipped an English class to be there and brought along teammate Taylor Makar to caddie. Makar grew up golfing, as well, and said Dyck was the best golfer on the team.

“He said he was going golfing. He said he was entering this, and I said if you need a guy I’ll help you,” Makar said.

Makar carried the clubs, tossed Dyck his view finder and offered his perspective reading greens.

“We had a great time. He plays a ton of golf, made sure I didn’t do anything stupid out there,” Dyck said. “We worked well, we had a good thing going.”

He shot a 5-over 75 and tied for 21st. Dyck finished four strokes out of a five-man playoff that decided the final three qualification slots. South Hadley native Chris Tallman, who played college golf at South Florida, was the medalist with a 1-under 69.

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The UMass forward, a seventh round NHL draft pick by the Ottawa Senators who scored two goals in 15 games last season, rolled in two of his three birdies on the front nine and made the turn at -1. His eagle chip on seven hit the flag and landed on the lip of the cup, so he tapped in for birdie.

“The short game, it needs to be the best part,” Duck said. “It was for me, especially early on, there’s really no spot on the course where I didn’t feel like I could get up and down.”

Dyck, an Abbotsford, British Columbia, native, played Orchards once last week in preparation for the qualifier. He plans to enter a few more tournaments over the warmer months while he’s in western Massachusetts preparing for the 2022-23 season.

“We’re cooped up inside the rink for eight months a year. If we get a time to go outside for four hours, golf’s a great opportunity,” Dyck said. “It’s not hard on your body. It’s a ton of fun.”

It might help his hockey game, too.

“I think the mindset in both intertwine. In golf, you need to have that one shot at a time,” Dyck said. “That kind of correlates to hockey with one decision, one shift at a time and with hockey the competitiveness, the bearing down when things get tough, the perseverance in the game that you’re never out of it.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.]]>