‘Having a lot of fun:’ Pandemic brings group of current, former Big Ten golfers together

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WEST BEND -- Even the best golfers know they have to navigate their way past water hazards and sand traps on the course. The last few months have taught some college golfers about adapting to life, too.

Pete Kuhl

There was a merry bunch at West Bend Country Club recently -- a handful of groups featuring current and former Big Ten golfers and their hosts.

"I know when we are all together it is super competitive. We all try and get after it. The course was awesome and the greens were even better," said Pete Kuhl.

Kuhl finished his playing career as a Badger while his younger brother, Tommy, competes for Illinois. Shortly after the global pandemic hit college sports, the Kuhls invited two of Tommy's international teammates to stay with their family in Morton, Illinois. Mike and Michelle Kuhl suddenly went from empty-nesting to hosting a collegiate foursome.

Tommy Kuhl

"They love it. They love it," said Tommy. "Definitely a little more work for my mom. But she loves having them. My dad loves having them. It's good."

"We've been having a lot of great meals and having a lot of fun," said Adrien Dumont de Chassart, one of the international golfers staying with the Kuhls. "We for sure talk a lot about golf and practice a lot But we also watch movies, play video games and hang out with their cousin, too."

Jerry Aiwei Ji

"It is kind of hard to practice because not a lot of ranges are open," Illinois golfer Jerry Aiwei Ji, who is also staying with the Kuhls, said. "Basically we just play every day. And competing against those other guys will improve your game a lot."

Adrien Dumont de Chassart

Dumont de Chassart, who shot 68 for his first round on the course, and Jerry aspire to become touring professionals. 2020 has given them some real-life experiences to draw on.

"I've learned that you should appreciate every moment. That the people you meet around are so important," said Jerry.

These teammates -- roommates -- can play any lie.

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