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Ty Crandon has faced many hazards during more than a dozen years on the links, but no obstacle on a golf course quite matched the challenge he faced in the wake of a university budget-cutting measure in mid-February.

On Feb. 12, the University of Nebraska-Kearney – where Crandon had committed to enroll in classes and play golf – announced it was eliminating three men’s athletic programs: golf, tennis and baseball.

The action was part of a $3.4 million budget reduction plan at UNK. The decision resulted in cutting 38 jobs and affecting 56 student-athletes, including Crandon and nine other incoming freshmen at UNK.

Shifting gears and going back to the drawing board, the Lincoln Southeast High School senior evaluated the other schools that had been on his short list and weighed his options. About a week after learning of UNK’s decision, Crandon committed to enroll at Doane University, whose campus he had toured last summer.

In the fall, the business administration major will enroll at the college in Crete and play golf for the Tigers. Crandon’s short list also included Nebraska Wesleyan University and Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

High school outlook

Crandon is looking forward to playing at the next level, but there’s a lot of golf on his calendar to be played prior to next fall. That begins with the high school spring season. Lincoln Southeast Coach Joe Schlegelmilch’s team leader is looking forward to anchoring a 2018 squad that will blend youth with veteran leadership.

Crandon hopes his fourth year as a member of the varsity team is his best season of high school golf. “My driving (275 to 300 yards) is pretty strong,” says the senior standout, who had a couple of top-five tournament finishes last spring. “I’m working on my short game … chipping and putting.”

He placed ninth at last year’s Class A high school meet. He said he’s taking aim at winning a tournament or two, and finishing among the state meet’s top five. His high school coach describes his team leader as a self-driven individual who has high expectations of himself.

“His 18-hole scoring average in his junior season was 78. Of his 12 rounds, including district and state, his score was in the 70s in eight of the twelve meets,” Schlegelmilch reported. “He medaled in nearly every meet we played last year.”

Fast start

Crandon wouldn’t mind beginning his senior season with a start similar to last year’s. The varsity veteran carded a season-best 74 at Holmes Golf Course during the Knights’ season-opening meet last spring.

Crandon’s list of mentors in his life is led by his dad, Jeff Crandon, who first put a club in his son’s hands at the age of “3 or 4,” and LSE Coach Schlegelmilch, whom Crandon describes as “amazing … he’s a great coach.”

Highlands Golf Course pro Shane Zywiec is also credited with helping develop Crandon’s game.

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