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Calvin siblings key to golf teams success
By Derek Neice

Elize DoezemaIn this sibling rivalry, the score is younger sister Elise Doezema: two; older brother Eric: one.

The competition? Hole in ones.

“I like to joke about it a lot because he always says how it doesn’t show my skill because he’s better than me,” Elise said of her two hole in ones. “But I just tell him that I’m basically more skilled because I have two.”

“She got her first when she was 12, so when I got mine I finally tied her up, but sure enough two days later she called me and told me that she was beating me again,” Eric said. “So it is a joke between us that is fun to talk about, and we’ll definitely continue throughout our lifetime.”

Still Eric’s hole in one was a significant one as it helped the Calvin men’s golf team claim the MIAA title in the final league tournament.

Going into that final tournament, the Knights trailed Trine by 19 strokes, and Calvin would go on to outshoot the Thunder by 21 strokes to claim the lead by a mere two strokes, the closest finish ever in MIAA golf history. Eric’s hole in one was monumental in swinging the championship Calvin’s way.

“After last season we recognized that our team could win the title this season,” Eric said of the way they finished. “As a team we always had a couple guys picking others up when we needed it, and it ended up all working out in the end, and it was a great feeling.”

That win gave the Knights their first MIAA title in Calvin history and their first-ever trip to the NCAA III Tournament, which will take place in Greensboro, N.C., in the spring. For his efforts, Doezema was named to the All-MIAA second team. He now turns his attention to the ice as a member of Calvin’s hockey team.

Eric DoezemaYounger sister and sophomore Elise also played a leading role for the women’s golf team this season, shooting back-to-back career-best rounds of 81 in the MIAA Tournament to finish fourth in the MIAA standings. For that performance, she landed a spot on the All-tournament team as well as a place on the All-Seasonal second team. Doezema also finished with an 87.2 strokes-per-round average, good for third best in Calvin women’s golf history.

Like her brother, Elise also plays two sports at Calvin as she competes on the tennis court in the spring for the Knights, contributing to the women’s team that won the MIAA title this past spring.

“It’s definitely a challenge to balance between tennis and golf and school,” she said of the time it takes to play two sports at Calvin. “I know that school is my most important thing, so I have to focus most on that, but I have a good amount of friends and a good social life so I guess I balance it pretty well.”

Graduates of Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian, the Doezemas grew up around golf. They got their start while growing up, encouraged to play by their parents. Now both have played feature roles in how the Knights finished out the fall season.

“We had a pretty young team so I was really proud of the way our team finished,” Elise Doezema said of the team’s season. “Since I’m only a sophomore it definitely sets the bar high for the next season.”

As for now, the hole-in-one competition continues. And the pair plays close attention to each other’s sporting feats.

“We usually keep contact through my parents because one normally goes to my match and one will go to Eric’s,” Elise said. “But I always try and go to one of his matches, too, if I can during the season.”