By Greg Gulas
According to Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary, the definition of phenom is “a person who is very good at doing something [such as a sport].”
Brian Terlesky, Boardman’s young golf sensation, is definitely a phenom.
Addressing the Curbstone Coaches during Monday’s weekly luncheon at the Blue Wolf Banquet Center, the 13-year old proved that he is beyond his years, not only on a fairway or putting green, but also while talking in a group setting.
“When my grandfather, Ron Moschella, told me that I was invited to speak here today, I asked him who would want to listen to a 13-year old,” Terlesky said.
It turns out that plenty were interested in the youngster’s words.
The one question that Terlesky is most often asked is how he first got interested in the sport.
“I don’t actually remember when I started hitting balls, but there are home movies of me when I was about 2 years old copying my dad’s swing in our backyard,” he said.
Athletics is in the Terlesky genes as his father, also Brian, played football at Chaney High and Youngstown State University. His mother, Christine, played for her father (Moschella) during a stellar basketball career at Boardman High.
Golf seems to have come naturally to the seventh grader, who will take a brief respite from the sport to play basketball for Glenwood Middle School.
“When I was 4, my father would take me to Mill Creek Short Holes and when I turned 6, he started looking for tournaments for me so that I could play competitively. All I remember is my dad and I working together every day,” Terlesky said.
Terlesky began on the U.S. Kids Tour at age 6, winning his first tournament when he shot a five under-par 31 in Delaware while on vacation with his family.
“My father was more nervous than I was,” Terlesky said. “It really was a great experience and after that, I just wanted to play in as many tournaments as possible.”
Currently ranked No. 2 nationally in his age group on the Junior Golf Scoreboard, Terlesky has won 18 times this year and is coming off a win this past weekend at the Golf Week Jr. Tour Championship in Indianapolis.
In all, he has played more than 200 tournaments.
Since age 6, he has qualified for the World Championships, which is played in Pinehurst, N.C. He has placed in the top-5 each and every year, winning the tournament in 2010.
Other notable tourney wins include the Little Peoples Pepsi Championship, which he has won twice; the Future Masters of Mississippi & Texas and the Prestige Tournament at PGA National Resort and Spa in Florida.
“My father taught me to appreciate and respect the game,” Terlesky said.