“The task of the leader is to get his people from where
they are to where they have not been.”
— Henry Kissinger
With just two tournaments left on the schedule before the Big
Ten Championship, men’s golf coach Andrew Sapp may have found
the players to lead Michigan to its first Big Ten title since 1952.
Thus far, the Wolverines’ leadership has come from sophomore
Christian Vozza, freshman Kevin Dore and senior Rob Tighe.
Vozza and Dore have competed for Michigan in every tournament
this spring. In each of the past two tournaments, Vozza and Dore
have finished first and second, respectively, in Michigan’s
individual scores, leading the Wolverines to a third-place tie and
14th place in those tournaments.
“(Vozza and Dore) are taking the reigns of this team late
in the season, and that’s what you need people to do,”
Their improved play has encouraged them to take on greater
leadership responsibilities. While Sapp stresses their ability to
lead by example, Vozza and Dore each believe they have other
qualities that enhance each of their evolving roles on the
“I try to lead by work ethic,” Dore said.
“I’m a first-year player, so I tried to blend in and be
a good supporter at first. I try to help the other guys work hard,
but I’m not a vocal leader.”
Sapp agrees that Dore has a very hard work ethic, adding:
“His hard work is paying off, which is good to see because
you hate to see players work hard and not get the
Like Dore, Vozza exhibits leadership by example, but he is more
vocal in his role.
“I try to encourage every guy on the team,” Vozza
said. “If they make a birdie, I’m happy for them. I
really want the team to get better.”
Vozza has also taken some of the team’s freshmen under his
wing, picking them up for practice and helping them improve their
“I know the guys look up to me not just because I’ve
been playing well recently, but also because I’m good friends
with them,” Vozza said.
Although their leadership is an important factor in the
team’s recent improvement, Vozza and Dore cannot do it all by
“We also need others to step up and do the very same thing
that Christian and Kevin have been doing,” Sapp said.
Senior Rob Tighe is one golfer who has improved his play in
recent weeks and taken on a larger leadership role. Tighe —
who played in 12 tournaments his junior year — has played in
only four tournaments this season due to injury. Tighe earned a
spot in the lineup via a qualifying round before the Jim Hackler
Tournament in March. He has not looked back since.
“(Tighe’s) consistent play has filled a need of
ours,” Sapp said.
As one of the upperclassmen who contributes regularly, Tighe can
draw upon his past experiences to motivate the team, especially as
the Big Ten Championship approaches.
“I’m one of the only guys on the team who has been
to Big Tens, so I can lead in that way, by experience,” Tighe
said. “A lot of the guys have played a fair amount this
season, but I think that my experience can be helpful.”
Together Vozza, Dore and Tighe lay claim to Michigan’s top
three scoring averages this season. Their consistent play and
steady leadership have translated into greater success for the