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College playing days were special

By: Jonah Karzmer | June 03, 2012 Untitled document

Welcome back Valley Golfers.

This week, Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles hosts the finals of the 2012 NCAA Division I men’s golf championships.

It’s hard for me to believe it now, but 12 years ago, I was fortunate enough to get to compete in the 2000 NCAA tournament as a part of the Kent State golf team.

I got to play the final round with Lucas Glover. Charles Howell III won the title.

And Kuchar, Bubba, Donald, Casey, Watney, Dufner, Byrd, Stadler and Curtis were just some of the names of the competitors in the field. It was awesome.

As I look back on it now, I realize how fortunate I was to get to experience the pressure and the excitement of college golf’s postseason.

A little less than a year after that tournament, I transferred from Kent to Youngstown where I played for, and then captained, the YSU squad.

I wanted to make a difference for my “hometown” university. I wanted to go back to those finals as part of the first YSU team to make it that far.

Unfortunately, the advancement I wanted to be a part of never truly materialized and the Penguins have still yet to make it to the big show. Even so, I felt compelled to write about the awesome experience that 30 college teams from across the country were lucky enough to experience this week.

As a former Golden Flash, I wish them the best of luck this week.

And as a former Penguin, I continue to have the same big dreams now as I did 12 years ago.

Sometime later in the year, I look forward sitting down with my old coach, Tony Joy, and writing a piece about the state of the YSU golf teams — their team makeup, what they’re working on, and where Coach Joy wants to take the team in the future.

But that’s a whole piece all on its own.

This week, I simply wanted to celebrate the competition itself. One team will head home a National Champion. And 156 contestants will head home with the memories of a lifetime. Congratulations to the champions.

As always, thanks for reading.

And until next week, “Hit ’em Straight!”

Jonah Karzmer is a former player at YSU and a member at The Lake Club. He works in insurance when not writing a golf column every Sunday in The Vindicator. Email him at jkarzmer@farmersagent.com.


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