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Marquette Wire

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Marquette Wire

Marquette golf is the beneficiary of two lifelong friends

First-year Ryan Banas (left) and junior Patrick Adler (right) have been playing golf together since grade school. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Adler.)
First-year Ryan Banas (left) and junior Patrick Adler (right) have been playing golf together since grade school. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Adler.)

Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” is blasting in Patrick Adler’s Jeep Liberty. In the passenger seat next to Adler sits Ryan Banas. It is 2020 and the two are high schoolers.

Banas turns his phone to Adler and films him rapping along with the song before a Loyola Academy golf match; a normal hype-up ritual for the pair.

The two have been playing golf together since grade school, and the first-year Banas joined the junior Adler at Marquette this fall.

Adler said Banas following him to Marquette has been like a dream come true.

“Ryan was one of the only guys who had the same aspirations as me on the high school team,” Adler said. “Leaving him to come to Marquette was tough, but having him follow me here has been cool because we get to continue what we had in high school and make each other better daily again.”

The pair met through a mutual friend and hit it off on the golf course. Growing up, they played at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Illinois, where they became partners at their PGA Junior League and consistently started playing together.

Banas and Adler as youth golfers. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Adler.)

Competition was central to Adler and Banas’ practice growing up before they came to Marquette. Adler said the two might only be where they are today because of it.

“When we beat each other, the loser would be mad and want to get better,” Adler said. “To be able to have another guy that’s equally your level constantly push you is a big thing, and it has contributed to the success we have both had.”

Banas said the older Adler was a role model that motivated him to succeed on and off the golf course.

“Seeing Patrick do well and go off to Marquette made me want to set goals for myself and do the same thing,” Banas said.

On top of playing together daily, Adler was Banas’ chauffeur until he graduated. They have made several memories together on car rides, but there are two that stick out to them the most.

When driving to a practice, the two stopped to get gas, and Adler asked Banas to fill up the car for him while he went inside to buy a drink.

Adler said he came out to the car, drink in hand, to Banas drenched in gasoline.

“We get to the practice, and our coach goes, ‘What happened to you guys?'” Adler said. “When the pump had stopped, Ryan took the thing out and accidentally pressed the handle and gas went everywhere.”

During Adler’s senior year of high school, the two were driving back from the Sectional golf tournament after not qualifying for the state final, and they were rear-ended. It was soon after that Adler got a call from his high school coach.

“I was in the playoff for first place, which meant a chance to play in the state final, but we were already 45 minutes away,” Adler said.

These car rides didn’t just create high school memories for the pair, they opened the door for them to make new ones together at college.

The long hours spent sitting in Adler’s jeep introduced them to Marquette as a future school. Banas had shown Adler the AHPRC Center on Marquette’s campus, which sparked both of their interest in the university.

Banas said that Adler’s early Marquette experience made him consider looking at the school.

“I remember Patrick was super excited after his first year,” Banas said. “He would come home and talk about how awesome it was and emphasize how much fun I would have if I joined him.”

Now that they are back together at Marquette, Adler said nothing has changed between them.

“It still feels like what we had in high school, which is awesome,” Adler said. “On top of being able to mess with each other, we kept the accountability on each other that we had before, too.”

Head coach Steve Bailey said the accountability aspect of their relationship blends well with the team’s culture.

“Knowing someone on that level helps with saying, ‘I’m going to speak the truth to you and let you know how I feel because I love you like a brother, and I want to see you grow,'” Bailey said.

Bailey said their friendship has impacted the team in more ways than one.

“They have a different connection from most other guys,” Bailey said. “Having that familiarity with one another helps to solidify our team culture, and it builds our competitiveness, too.”

Adler said he and Banas still find ways to compete with each other during practice.

“With Ryan, we throw chirps at each other pretty easily and know that it won’t affect us,” Adler said. “The constant competition has flowed back into our college games.”

Bailey said their relationship has impacted Banas’ adjustment to college.

“The transition becomes easier because their relationship gave him (Ryan) a level of comfortability that people don’t always have coming into school,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the bond that Adler and Banas share reflects the overall bond the golf team has with each other.

“The beauty of having the AHPRC on campus is that the guys live here, which sharpens their bonds with each other,” Bailey said. “If they aren’t here, they are always doing stuff together, whether it’s watching games or eating together. These guys are inseparable.”

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on X. 

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About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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