Get to know the SCSU Golf Team
Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor
It may not appear on the Owls’ athletic website, yet, but Southern Connecticut does indeed have a golf team that represents the university at local and regional tournaments in New England.
Now a second-semester program, the golf team at Southern managed to qualify to the NCCGA National Championship in West Virginia on April 23.
The tournament consisted of the 30 best schools in the country competing with each other from different divisions. Zac Parente, one of the players on the golf team, said he didn’t expect to qualify to the tournament this early as a program.
“Last semester we had about 15 guys on the team,” said the sophomore, Parente. “We were still good, we finished second in our division. Then this past semester we recruited a lot of guys, so we got even better.”
However, even though the team qualified to compete in the tournament, lack of funds to fly the entire roster to West Virginia cost them the chance to play in the NCCGA National Championship.
“It’s just kind of wrong,” Parente said. “We earned a spot and played well. We recruited all these guys to get to the national championship, and now it’s just getting ripped away from us.”
Likewise, Kyle Bacharach, a sophomore golf player on the team, said he was very disappointed to hear that the team wasn’t going to play in the national championship.
“It sucks,” said Bacharach, “you work hard all year to qualify for the tournament, and now we’re not going. I just wished we could have raised more money to travel there.”
Despite now being able to go to the tournament, Parente said next year’s goal will be to fundraise more money in order to avoid this year’s situation. Not only that, but the team is striving to perform even better next year.
Parente said that golf isn’t like most sports. The game of golf is more mental than it is physical.
“You have to keep your emotions in check,” Parente said. “You have to stay cool out there. If you have one bad shot it’s not the end of the world, you can still recover from it. It’s not like in football if you give up 30 points in a quarter; you’re probably not going to win the game.”
Coupled with having the right mentality, Bacharach said having patience is one the most important qualities a golf player should have.
“If you’re not patient then you’re probably not playing well,” Bacharach said. “Being consistent with your shots is the hardest part of golf.”
Not only that, but Bacharach said he started playing golf when he was a sophomore in high school. Bacharach had no prior influences in the sport as none of his family members played, but grew a love for it on his own.
Additionally, before golf, Bacharach played football in high school, as he was a defensive linesman for Trumbull High School. He noted a huge difference when he started to play golf over football.
“It’s obviously a lot more physical and you have a much bigger adrenaline rush in football, but in golf I learned that patience is key,” he said.
President of the golf team, Chris Kuczo, has really turned the golf program into something “special,” according to Parente.
“Chris has really done a great job,” Parente said. “He took over the team and has done everything. He’s a born leader. He cares about the team, and really wants to win. It wouldn’t be possible without him.”
By the same token, Parente still had one more thing to say about the golf team in regards to students looking to join.
“Were not the most athletic people, but if you want to have fun there’s a great group of guys on the team. You don’t have to travel every weekend, its only two tournaments, and its fun. That’s honestly what it is.”
Photo Credit: Chris Kuzco