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Golf rivals turn into teammates, friends

They'll lead U of I at NCAA Tournament

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 10:51 am

There's no way Kyle Pearson and Justin Hueber should like each other.

Pearson went to Blackhawk Christian and Hueber to Leo, where they should have been blood-feud rivals because they were both so good on the golf course. They were always going head-to-head in all the biggest local tournaments, and it probably should have been nose-to-nose.

“We would be fighting tooth and nail throughout the round, but as soon as the round was over we'd be laughing and having fun in the clubhouse later,” Pearson said. “We've always been super competitive on the course and great friends off it.”

But this week that friendship is going to change as the pair complete their college careers at the University of Indianapolis by leading the Greyhounds through the NCAA Division II National Championships in Blaine, Wash. The Greyhounds are hoping to better their eighth-place finish from last year. After this tournament, Hueber will prepare to play on the Nationwide Tour, and Pearson will take over as general manager at Cherry Hills Golf Club.

“We probably play or practice every day with each other, whether it's going to the range or playing nine holes,” Hueber said. “It's to the point where when things are wrong with our swings it's usually pretty minor, but we know enough about the game to be able to help each other.”

Their friendship started on the golf course, but they quickly decided they'd like to play in college together. Pearson said each had plenty of offers, but Indianapolis was the only school to approach both of them. Then they became roommates.

“I'm not sure what formed the friendship because I wanted to beat his guts out as bad as I could on the course,” Pearson said with a laugh. “We always talked about it in high school, how cool it would have been if we could have played together. There were a lot of ‘What ifs?' that led to this.”

Hueber was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Golfer of the Year recently, and Pearson played No. 3 for the Greyhounds.

“It's been awesome to have a best friend through college and to travel around and play sports,” Hueber said.

They'll still likely talk at least a few times a week, especially as preparations for Pearson's wedding to his high school sweetheart get closer. Hueber will be the best man and two other Greyhounds will be groomsmen.

“We've formed a bond where we're hanging out with our best friends and playing free golf,” Pearson said. “College has been great, and I can't complain. I got a job, a good girl and I'm ready to take the next step and get on with my life. I couldn't have planned it any better.”