Loiacono Keeps DePaul's Hole-in-One Streak Going
Karen Loiacono holds up her hole-in-one golf ball Wednesday at the D-Club Alumni Golf Outing at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club.

Oct. 4, 2012

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CHICAGO - For the third consecutive week, someone from DePaul has shot a hole-in-one.

The latest ace took place Wednesday at the 2012 D-Club Alumni Golf Outing when DePaul marketing director Karen Loiacono went from tee to cup in one swing at the 11th hole of the Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont.

On Sept. 18 at the Ram Masters Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo., DePaul golf team freshman Adrian Halimi found the hole in one shot.

Exactly six days later, Blue Demon teammate Moritz Ackerhans duplicated Halimi's rare feat in the Windon Memorial Classic at the 193-yard fifth hole of the Skokie Country Club.

Loiacono's one-timer made it three hole-in-ones in 15 days.

"It was a perfect shot," said DePaul golf coach Betty Kaufmann who played on Loiacono's team along with Ron and Laura Griggs. "I heard it hit the stick and said: `hole-in-one!'"

Carding an ace was the last thing on Loiacono's mind.

"I hit it clean," she said. "But before the shot, Ron Griggs was telling a story about a bat that freaked me out a little.

"This is the first hole-in-one in my life, and it was the second time I picked up a golf club this summer. I haven't played consistently over the last five years---just the occasional charity outing.

"It must be the Betty mojo."

Team Griggs had notched a birdie on the 10th hole and then followed up the ace at No. 11 with back-to-back eagles in the scramble competition en route to finishing in first place. Laura Griggs was on her game from the tee, receiving the longest-drive prize for women.

"How did we win it?" Griggs said. "We had Cone's hole-in-one, three terrific women and solid putting. Betty was making great approach shots and I was making the putts."

Griggs is a DePaul golf alum and the organizer of the annual Rev. Austin Minogue, C.M. Memorial Golf Outing that is the major source of funding for the DePaul golf program. Funds from that outing are used to support endowment scholarships for Blue Demon golfers and also finances on-campus and off-campus practice facilities. He also serves on DePaul's Athletic Advisory Council.

"I really love this event that brings the DePaul alumni community back together," Griggs said. "We are all DePaul stewards getting involved with the athletics program."

Former Blue Demon soccer player Bob Kruse is a driving force behind bringing in young alums to the annual golf outing. He has been working on reconnecting with young alumni since he began serving on the Athletic Advisory Council in 2006.

"It's always been a goal of mine to get young alumni connected to DePaul," Kruse said after finishing his round on Wednesday. "With alumni events and basketball games, you can keep young alums in contact with the university and the athletic department instead of distancing themselves away and finding other things.

"I first played in this event in 2007. Once we began holding it at Ruffled Feathers, we were able to get some traction and young alums got excited about the event. We had a good group of young alums turn out today, and there was also a big turnout for Men's Soccer Alumni Day last Saturday.

"I had a good time at the alumni day. It was nice to hang out with the younger guys who I didn't get a chance to play with. After the men's soccer game, we had pizza and beers and kept the reunion going."

Kruse played from 2000-03 and was part of the change in culture for the soccer program playing for coach Craig Blazer his final three years. His group led the charge for turning things around in Conference USA. The Blue Demons came within one victory of potentially qualifying for the C-USA tournament his senior season but lost 2-1 at USF in the regular-season finale.

DePaul began to establish some home-field advantage towards the end of Kruse's career. The Blue Demons were 6-1-0 at Wish Field in his junior year and 5-3-0 a year later. Teams such USF, Alabama-Birmingham and St. Louis did not look forward to playing in Wish Field.

"Soccer was challenging, stimulating and a lot of fun," Kruse said. "A lot of guys started bringing in their friends who played soccer along with teammates from their club teams. We were making strides forward. Two years after my senior season, DePaul put field turf into Wish Field.

"That was a turning point for the soccer program. It demonstrated the level of commitment DePaul had for building a winning program.

"Our team began something, and current assistant coach Mark Plotkin's group took it to the next level by making it to the NCAA tournament. There were a dozen guys back from that 2007 team. When you're part of a winning program, people want to reconnect and relive some great memories.

"Men's soccer is a brotherhood where we all hung together in the good and the bad. We built relationships and friendships that we'll have for the rest of our lives."

2012 D-Club Golf Outing Awards
Champions: Laura and Ron Griggs, Betty Kaufmann, Karen Loiacono
Longest Drive Men: Josh Sellers
Longest Drive Women: Laura Griggs
Closest to the Pin Men: Justin Thomas
Closest to the Pin Women: Karen Loiacono
Longest Putt: Paul Duski



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