Sewickley Academy grad Bangor hopes to end decorated CMU golf career strong
When Ian Bangor is on the golf course, nobody can tell what he's thinking — not even his coach.
“He has such a great temperament that he's almost stoic on the course,” said longtime Carnegie Mellon University golf coach Rich Erdelyi of his senior captain. “You don't know if he's shooting 59 or 82.
“He just goes about his business.”
Bangor, a Sewickley Academy High School graduate, enters his final spring with the Tartans as one of the most talented — and most decorated golfers in school history.
Late last month, Bangor's skills were on display at the Patriot All-America Invitational in Litchfield Park, Ariz. He finished the three-round event 61st among the 84 college players who participated, but it was his ability to shake off two months of rust and adapt to unfamiliar course conditions that showed the effectiveness of Bangor's cerebral approach to the game.
After scuffling through his first nine holes of the event to the tune of a nine-over-par 44 that included five bogeys and a pair of double-bogeys, Bangor began to figure out what he needed to do to turn things around.
“A lot of it was putting,” Bangor said. “There were a lot of small, undulating greens.
“The ball breaks less and doesn't roll the same as it does here.”
Bangor displayed marked improvement in his three rounds at the Patriot event. After opening with an 82, he responded with a 74 in the second round and ended the event with a 71. His final round featured three birdies.
Along with the differences in putting on the Bermuda grass greens in Arizona, Bangor also found he had to alter his approach shots because of how firm the greens were.
“Most of my shots weren't terrible,” Bangor said. “The greens are so firm and were so built up that you could hit a good shot and still end up in a bad spot.”
Prior to playing in the Patriot Invitational, Bangor put together a fall season that saw him lead the Tartans in scoring average (73.7) and capture his third straight Carnegie Mellon Fall Invitational title.
Bangor has been scoring well in the classroom as well. He enters the spring semester with a 3.87 grade point average in the Tepper School of Business and has already accepted a position with BlackRock in New York City and will begin work there in August.
Bangor and the Tartans will open up the spring season March 9-10 at the University Athletic Association Championships at Red Tail Country Club in Sorrento, Fla.
With a school-record 10 tournament wins and 17 top-three finishes to his credit, Bangor has proven his mettle time and again, but the All-American is hoping his senior season will culminate in team successes as well as individual ones.
“I would definitely like to win the conference championship and see the team win it as well,” Bangor said. “We have a solid lineup with some really good players.
“We're all capable of shooting under par. It's just going to come down to how we play.”
Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.