By Maxmillian Robinson
Sports can be considered fun to most, if not all, people who consider themselves to be active. On the other hand, playing sports in an organized manner requires a bit more discipline. Many athletes, including our own Adelphi Panthers, have been playing their prospective sport since their childhood. One in particular, junior men's golfer Andrew Brunozzi, a native of Syracuse, confirmed that. The business major said he has photos of himself from age three holding golf clubs provided by his parents. The Delphian had a chance to ask Brunozzi about his collegiate career, early days and post-grad plans.
Q. Who [or what] inspired you to play golf competitively?
A. Brunozzi: My [self] love for the game and eagerness to play inspired me. I was always a super competitive person and wanted to win at everything I did, which probably played a role in me moving to competitive golf.”
Q. What is your favorite aspect about the game?
A. It’s the mental side and the resilience you need to have. You need to be able to block everything out and focus on nothing else but what you're doing during the round. [Very] difficult to do but when you get into that "zone" it feels so good, almost like nothing else matters.
Brunozzi prepared to have a stellar season this year.
Q. What was going through your mind when you had your best finish in the 18-hole and 36-hole match in 2019 (breaking two records for the same event at the Lake Shore Yacht & Country Club)?
A. During my best finish this season I knew coming down the stretch I was in the lead or very near the lead. I made a double bogey on the second-to-last hole and that kind of put a wrench in everything. I was upset going to the last hole, but I knew I needed to make a good score to have any chance. And my thoughts were to just get the ball into a scoring position and whatever happens from there happens, sort of like a control what you can control sort of situation. I managed to get the ball into position and make a birdie on the final hole in front of my whole team which happened to give me the win for the tournament. It was a great feeling knowing I had won but I was even more proud of the team as we had our best finish and best team score that I have ever been a part of in college while going through the transition of having a new coach for only a month.
Q. What was it like adjusting from playing in [upstate] New York, compared to the competition in Long Island? What major changes were there?
A. Adjusting from the high school level to the collegiate level was tougher for me than others, but overall was a good experience. I wasn't playing my best golf when I first came to Adelphi and that time period of struggle humbled me as a player. I just knew I had to keep grinding and believe in the game I had and after a month or two I started to settle in.”
Brunozzi carrying his golf clubs to the next hole in the course.
Q. How did the pandemic affect your play (or how tournaments usually would go)? Did it help or hurt you?
A. The pandemic definitely was a challenge that we had to overcome. I had the mindset that if I wasn't spending the newfound free time that I had at getting better that I would fall behind because there were going to be other people that were spending the time getting better. Golf was also a big escape for me during the pandemic; it was something that still felt somewhat normal and was a good release for me. I don't know what I would've done if I couldn't play during the pandemic.
Q. Did the pandemic help or hurt your performance on the golf course?
A. Anytime you have a good finish in a tournament it is a great feeling. You grind all week for two rounds of golf that really matter and when you're able to achieve what you want and compete at a high level it is always a great feeling. You always have to take some time and celebrate but also have to stay focused because the next tournament is always only a few days away and you need to get back in that competitive mental state.
Q. What are your three major goals after you graduate from Adelphi?
A. One, play golf at a high level as long as I can, whether that is to continue on the amateur circuit or give it a shot at playing professional mini tours. Two, do something in the golf industry whether that is teaching kids how to play or directing and setting up tournaments to grow the game. Three, take what I learned at Adelphi and apply it to try my hardest to be successful at whatever I do and don't let the time slip by and waste it.