Yenrick shows he can compete with the NCAA’s best

J. Patrick Eaken

University of Toledo junior golfer Palmer Yenrick has gone from being a walk-on member of the team to a scholarship member.

Last year, the Clay graduate competed in four tournaments, posting a 76.5 stroke average and tied for second on the team with four rounds of par or under. His top showing was 27th-place tie at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate with a career-best even-par 216 (71-75-70). He fired career-low two-under 70s in the final rounds of the Mobile Bay event and Linger Longer Invitational and placed 34th at the Mid-American Conference championships with a 250 (83-81-86).

“The year was kind of rocky for me in general. I played well in some areas, and I played bad, but I have had some really good rounds, which is good because being a walk-on I wasn’t expected to be that good to begin with,” Yenrick said. “So, I have kind of came out, showed up a little bit, worked hard and I have seen some results coming quicker and quicker. It is always good to see your hard work pay off.

“I have been getting better and better at managing courses, getting around certain areas that are scoreable. My ball striking has kept me solid and learning more about the game each year to get me in better position to make better scores. Course management has become better.”

As a youth, Yenrick was more focused on baseball, but golf has taken over, and it has paid off. However, he says his baseball background helped.

“My ball striking, for the most part, has been working well for me,” Yenrick said. “It is a part of my game that I’ve been able to rely on my whole life, basically. With a baseball background, having a good swing, definitely helps me.”

Despite how well he did at the Mobile Bay, Linter Longer, and MAC championships, it was an event at Ohio State that he takes the biggest pride in.

“The one I’m most proud was when I went to Ohio State and played. I had just came off COVID. Literally two days after COVID the coach picked me to go to Ohio State and play,” Yenrick said 

“I had a really good first round, an OK second round and the last round was OK as well but coming off COVID I really did not expect to be playing that well yet at a collegiate level. So, I was surprised to see that I still had some good rounds in me. It was coming at the end of the year, and I wasn’t in my tip-top shape,” Yenrick continued.

UT golf typically recruits around the world, so for a local golfer to make the team, and get a scholarship, is extraordinary. Because of that, Yenrick is making friends from around the globe. That may pay off someday because the 5-foot-10 Palmer, the son of Robert and Holly Yenrick, is majoring in international business at UT.

“It is really great. I get to meet everyone that is from all over the world,” Yenrick said. “We’ve got some South Africans who are really good, everyone is really good on the team, and they are all good guys. We have some new people coming in this year, so I am optimistic for next year. So, I think that will be fun. 

“It’s really just a cool experience to get to know people from different countries because growing up around here I really did not get to meet too many people from out of the country. I haven’t traveled too much, so it is really cool to see how they live and their culture.”


Big Ten, SEC competition

Not only that, but UT plays against the best college teams across the nation. You never know — the competitor in his flight could be on the PGA Tour someday.

“We have a really hard schedule, so we see a lot of really good college teams. No huge names that have made it on the tour because, I mean, it has only been a year that I have been competing and to advance to that is a long, due process that you have to go through to get to the PGA Tour,” Yenrick said.

“But, playing against Big Ten schools, SEC schools, it is all really nice. Kent State is a really good team, and we have some really good teams in our conference as well. So it is good to compete against better people that bring you along.”

In addition, he is playing on the best courses in the nation, but he says the historic Inverness Club in South Toledo is still his favorite.

“Inverness Club has to be the top one. I worked out there as a caddy and it never gets old driving up and seeing that course. It is always in good shape,” Yenrick said.

“During the winter, we had our first tournament of the spring season was at TPC Sawgrass, the (Dye’s Valley) Course, so it was not the championship course, it was the (Players Stadium Course). It was really nice to go down there and see where the Players was held and see how the course looks. It looked beautiful down there. Sycamore Hills was also nice in Portland, Indiana. It was a very tough course, but it was one of the nicer ones I have been to.”

The Toledo men’s golf team will be challenged by another strong schedule during its 2021-22 campaign. The Rockets will travel to eight different states and face some of the nation’s top programs during its upcoming season.

“I would like to think that this is probably the most balanced schedule we have faced in recent years,” said coach Jeff Roope said. 

“We will have the luxury of a fall and spring season this year meaning that we can schedule with both momentum and appropriate amounts of rest in mind.  We have a nice mix of events where some are elite, some are local, some are return trips, some are new to us, and all are quality tournaments run by first-class programs and coaches.  We really are looking forward to getting back out there as a team.”

The Rockets return six letter winners for the 2021-22 campaign, including MAC Freshman of the Year Barend Botha. Botha posted a team-best 73.5 stroke average last season.

Yenrick says that Roope and his coaching staff have prepared him well, plus the facilities at UT are a huge help.

“I think for being in such an area where it is really cold during the winter, having an indoor area and the tools necessary to make a transition to go outside is really helpful,” Yenrick said. “We have (simulators), hitting bays, putting greens and stuff like that, too, to help you make the transition to go outside.”

Before his freshman year at Toledo, Yenrick was named the Frank Stranahan Boys Player of the Year by the Toledo Junior Golf Association at its award ceremony at the Inverness Club. He says the TJGA played a major role in his development.

“I think it definitely helped me growing up in the TJGA. I was not really too into golf but having that local thing kind of helped me get started and grow interest into the game. I was very thankful for that,” Yenrick said. “There was, at times, some good competition there. I remember there were a lot of great players who played who have also gone on to Division I colleges just to play golf.”

At Clay, Yenrick earned first team All-Three Rivers Athletic Conference both his junior and senior years, first team all-district and district player of the year as a senior, and second team all-district as a junior.

He posted 71.3 stroke average as a senior and became the first Eagles’ male or female golfer to qualify for state tournament by earning medalist honors in Northwest District Division I tournament. He also earned medalist honors at the TRAC Championship and sectional tournament.

    In addition, Yenrick was a first team all-conference in baseball as a senior and second-team all-conference as a junior, leading or tying the team lead in batting average, runs scored and stolen bases. On the mound, he posted a 3-1 win-loss mark with a team-best 1.08 ERA to go along with five saves.

Yenrick is now preparing for the Ohio Amateur July 26-31 at the Avalon Golf and Country Club in Warren, Ohio and the 36-hole Habitec Toledo Open, to be held Sept. 14-15 at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania.










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