By Lisa Stukel, Contributing Writer
Team: Shrewsbury High School golf (co-captain)
Coach: Leo Murray
Background: 2010 selected as a Mid-Wach A League All Star and member. Third year on varsity and member of 2009 League, District and State Championship team. Posted a score of 79, which counted toward the winning team total in the state tournament. Featured as one of the top 12 junior golfers in Massachusetts in Mass Golfer Magazine.
Tournaments: AJGA Deutsche Bank Partners for charity shootout (first place). AJGA Rochester Junior Open (eighth), US Public Links Qualifier (fourth).
Nick, when did you start playing golf?
“I started playing golf when I was 5 years old. My grandpa taught me and he was a really good golfer. He sent me a set of clubs when I was 5. I started swinging my clubs in the backyard and enjoyed it. I really didn's play any other sports, so I could focus on golf.”
Who has been your biggest influence in your career?
“Probably my grandpa. He taught me the rules of golf and bought me my first set of clubs. I would also have to say that coach Leo Murray has been a big influence in my career. He's really great with the guys and does his best for us as individuals and as a team.”
Do you have a most memorable moment on the golf course?
“It is probably when our team won the States in 2009 at Turner Hill in Ipswich. After we won, we all jumped into a pond together. We were really pumped up. It was a blast.”
How do you handle the pressure?
“I try to keep positive thoughts in my head and, if I hit a bad shot, I try not to let it get to me. It can be pretty hard when you are having a good round that turns into a bad round. I try to do the best that I can and if I don's, I work even harder to do well the next time.”
What advice do you have for younger athletes?
“I would say that to practice as much as possible and to have fun. Everyone faces challenges that they need to overcome, and if they are having a rough year, keep practicing and they do well in the next season.”
What has been your single best match?
“It was the last day of the AJGA Deutsche Bank Shootout. I shot a 68, surrounded by my friends and family. It was a really great feeling.”
What is your favorite movie?
“My favorite movie is, “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” because the lead character Francis Ouimet was the first amateur to win a U.S. Open. Back in 1913, golf was considered a sport only for the wealthy and privileged, and Francis came from an immigrant family that was part of the “low” working class. Francis overcame his challenges and never gave up. It was a very motivational movie.”
What are your plans for next year?
“I am getting in contact with colleges, and will hopefully be able to play at a D1 school.”