First-year men’s golfers Tyler Anderson and Ryan Magee have been friends since they were young. Both were members of Hawthorn Woods Country Club in Hawthorn Woods, a suburb of Chicago, and grew up near one another. Despite going to different high schools — Anderson went to Carmel Catholic High School and Magee went to Mundelein High School, both in Mundelein — they kept in touch through membership at Hawthorn Woods.
Now, they’re teammates at Loyola.
Magee signed with the university during the early signing period last season. At the end of the season, he reached out to head coach Erik Hoops about possibly recruiting Anderson to Loyola. Hoops had an opening on the roster and took a gamble — despite not seeing Anderson play.
“I didn’t really get a chance to watch [Anderson] play until, really, when he got to campus this year,” Hoops said. “I’d done some research and he’d shot some good numbers in the past and I’d seen his name on leaderboards in other tournaments … he was somewhat given to me by [Magee], but once we got him in, he’s been great ever since.”
After competing against one another in the Illinois Junior Golf Association and in occasional matches through high school for so long, Anderson said he’s enjoying golfing on the same team as Magee for a change.
“We’ve been playing together for a while and been growing up competing against each other, always on different teams” Anderson said. “Now it’s kind of cool coming here and getting to play together with him for once.”
Now that they’re teammates, Magee said they work well together and are comfortable with one another because they’ve played together for so long.
“Whenever we have any team competitions, we’re together and we want to beat the upperclassmen,” Magee said. “We pick each other up during tournaments [and] give each other encouragement … it’s just a natural and free-flowing relationship we [have].”
Before practice rounds, Hoops sets the pairings ahead of time, so the same golfers aren’t always together. Despite Anderson and Magee’s friendship, Hoops said he keeps the two separate most of the time so he can mix the new golfers with the returning golfers. But Anderson said they sometimes get paired with each other and make the most of the chance to play together.
“Coach Hoops does the pairings, usually, but when me and Ryan get paired together, we have a good time,” Anderson said. “We try to be competitive with each other and create a tournament scene.”
Through their first four tournaments, Anderson and Magee have been thrown into the starting five. With stroke averages of 78.1 and 80.2, respectively. Hoops said he expects the numbers to go down with experience. But for now, he’s focused on building team chemistry and said Magee and Anderson fit in well.
“Our team chemistry has been great and Tyler and Ryan have been a pretty key part of it ever since they got here,” Hoops said. “They’ve obviously had that familiarity with each other growing up … [and] when we have range days or practice days, they’re normally doing stuff together because they know their golf games so well.”
Because Loyola mostly competes in tournaments far from Chicago, the team bonds during van rides. During those rides — when they’re not working on homework — Magee said he talks to Anderson about what’s happening in college golf and the PGA Tour.
“We’re both golf junkies, so [we know] a lot of what’s going on in college and on the PGA Tour,” Magee said. “We [also] debate each other, and we have a lot of fun doing that.”
The Ramblers are scheduled to compete in the final tournament of the fall in Skokie Oct. 9-10 at the Windon Memorial tournament, hosted by Northwestern University, before starting the spring portion of the schedule in February.