Triad's Buente will hit the links for Lewis

News-DemocratApril 2, 2014 

— Triad senior Austin Buente has no idea what his academic major will be when he begins college later this year.

But at least Buente knows where he will go to school.

The Belleville News-Democrat boys co-player of the year for the 2013 golf season, Buente has given a verbal commitment to attend Lewis University in Joliet.

"I was thinking about doing something in the medical field. But I've still got a year or so to figure it out,'' Buente said of his possible major. "I'll be taking a lot of general classes the first year or so anyway.

"My brother Blaine (Buente) goes to Milliken University in Decatur and he's already changed his major. I feel like I've got some time.

Austin Buente's best time on the golf course came this past season.

The Knights top player, Buente set school records for lowest nine-hole average (35.9 ) and 18-hole average (74.7), then put the finishing touch on his high school career by tying for fifth place at the Class 2A state golf tournament in October.

Buente chose Lewis, an NCAA Division II school, over Central College in Pella, Iowa, and Quincy University.

"I visited all three schools to see which one I liked best. They were all nice and actually I clicked with players and coaches at them all,'' Buente said. "It basically came down to Lewis and Quincy and I chose Lewis because I thought the golf team was more competitive and they have all the facilities. It's really nice.

"It was a tough choice. Quincy's about 2 1/2 hours away and Lewis is about four. It's not bad. I just decided I wanted to go to Lewis."

Buente will join older brother Blaine as a collegiate golfer. An all-sate player two years ago, Blaine Buente had a solid freshman season at Milliken this past year.

Milliken is an NCAA Division III school.

Extremely long off of the tee with a solid short game, Buente woks at Gateway National Golf Links in Madison where he can be seen on the driving range or putting greens for hours at a time.

"I work out at Gateway and so I'm out there all the time anyway. If I have an hour or two, I'll hit some balls or work on my short game,'' Buente said. "I'm really driving the ball well right now. I pretty much know where it's going.

"My long and short irons are solid and I guess I still need to work on my putting and finding the right line."

Buente also hopes to follow in his brother's footsteps by going to college and breaking into the varsity lineup as a freshman.

"If I had to say the big difference between high school and college golf is the competition. At the college level almost everybody can play and a lot of them are juniors and seniors who have played college golf for a couple of years. They have that experience,'' Buente said. "My goal is to go to college and play right away as a freshman like my brother did.''

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