The Crow's Nest: Oliver and Lyle Rudnicki, men’s golf

As Whitworth prepares for a run at the conference championship, it will need help from a large freshmen group, including freshmentwins Lyle and Oliver Rudnicki. Looking back on their journey, the twin brothers have gone through quite a bit to get here. Born in England, the brothers ended up moving to Redmond, Wash., with their family and attended Redmond High School soon after.

After playing for nine years, it was important to the twins to be in a smaller, more intimate class setting for college.  Head coach Warren Friedrichs introduced that environment to them with Whitworth.

“They didn’t express a need to stay together when going to college,” Friedrichs said.  “They’re not rooming together and they have very different academic interests.”

Despite this, Lyle and Oliver both liked the hospitality of the student body and the way they fit in on the team.  Their competitive nature was only heightened by this experience.

“We’ve always been competitive with each other,” Lyle said.  “When you have a twin brother, you’re competitive in everything, and I mean everything.”

When the men’s season began, not even Lyle and Oliver knew what kind of impact they would have on the team.  Over the last two tournaments, the twins splashed onto the scene.  Lyle had a first-place finish at the Whitman Invitational on Oct. 1.  After beating his brother in the previous tournament, Oliver also had a noteworthy finish at the Whitman invitational, finishing 10th overall.

“They have very different personalities,” Friedrichs said.  “Oliver is more quiet, while Lyle is more of a carefree kid.”

The significant personality differences have even generated a nickname for Lyle.

“Yeah, coach calls Lyle “cas” because he’s so casual and relaxed when he plays out there,” Oliver said.  “Me, I like being serious when I play; it helps me stay focused.”

However, Friedrichs is not the only one to notice the contrasting personalities.

“Lyle will hit a bad hole and laugh it off, but they both play very relaxed out there in their own way,” junior golfer Jesse Salzwedel said.

Being relaxed has granted the brothers the ability to stay mentally positive during matches.

Despite their outstanding game mentality, it is their work ethic in practice that gets Coach Friedrichs’ attention.

“I was impressed initially, and still am, in the fact that they both spend so much time working on every facet of their game,” Friedrichs said.

That work ethic is something the twins have carried with them for a long time.

“You can’t get better until you make your weaknesses your strengths,” Oliver said.

As the Pirates progress through the season with aspirations for postseason play, the Rudnicki twins hope to be a part of it as best they can.

“They care a lot about what they do and they really want to contribute to our success,” Salzwedel said.

The freshmen brothers will look to continue their strong play and help Whitworth as the season goes on.

“We really just want to do what we can for our teammates,” Lyle said.

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at csoudani16@my.whitworth.edu.