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ACE IN THE HOLE

Playing behind the team's No. 1 Jake Katz, senior co-captain Andrew Marler enjoys his role as a jack-of-all-trades

October 5, 2010


ACE IN THE HOLE

For the last decade, senior leadership has played an instrumental role in shaping the golf program’s success at the Division I level. Binghamton University’s golf team has relied on players like Adam Fuchs (1999-2003) and Jeff Wolniewicz (2004-2007), the all-time individual scoring leaders, to lead by example on the golf course. Fuchs, who led the Bearcats to an NCAA Championship appearance as a senior, guided the team to its second-lowest season average (300.0). A four-year member of the PING All-Region team and a two-time GCAA All-America Scholar, Wolniewicz helped the Bearcats achieve its lowest season scoring average (299.1) in 2007.

This year’s wave of seniors Jake Katz and Andrew Marler look to continue BU’s four-year increment of record-breaking seasons. With a sure-fire man in Katz who has locked up the team’s No. 1 spot after leading the Bearcats in scoring during the 2009-10 campaign, fellow captain Andrew Marler can focus his efforts on leading by example, in addition to his reliable contribution to the team score in each event.

Marler, who was named a co-captain at the start of the academic year, possesses a perfect blend of leadership credentials that combine his talents as a golfer with the impact he makes on the Binghamton campus and community. As a four-year member of the squad, Marler has racked up the amount of tournament experience that makes him a savvy veteran who has learned how to score in big events. He earned 1st Team All-America Sky accolades on the strength of a sound fifth-place performance in the 36-hole conference championship in 2008. In his fourth year with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Marler has had the opportunity to influence athletes from BU’s 21 intercollegiate teams. In all, Marler’s four-year experience on the golf team and devotion to SAAC represent a mutually beneficial relationship, thereby making him a more effective leader on and off the golf course.

Marler answered a few questions about his role as a leader, goals for the current season, and career aspirations.

Can you describe how you became involved with SAAC and what some of your responsibilities include as Treasurer?
I first became involved in SAAC my freshman year. I was more heavily involved at some points than others but I always tried to contribute to the organization. Last year, Adina Fisher, a former Vice President, asked me to run for Treasurer. This entails managing the budget for some of our projects and chairing the athlete social subcommittee. My goal is to create a variety of fun (non-drinking) social events throughout the year for all athletes.

With a degree in management and concentration in finance, what are your career aspirations?
Originally, being interested in money and finance, I wanted to be the “Gordan Gekko” of Wall Street. However, after an internship this past summer in investment banking, I realized this may not be the best path for me. Currently, I have an offer to work for a talent agency in Los Angeles. This ties in well with my deep interest in athletics. I am looking for other opportunities in the sports and entertainment industries in the next few months.

How do you spend your time when you’re not playing golf or concentrating on school?
Friendships are where I focus much of my free time. I have a great group of friends here at school and at home. I love staying in touch with people and doing spontaneous things with my friends. It’s my last year of college so with my free time, I will take every opportunity to do something spontaneous, exciting, and unusual.

How would you assess the team’s chemistry after winning a few team titles last season?
Our team chemistry is incredible. We have such a great group of guys. All ten of us get along famously and each person adds their own unique personality into a great mix. We’re one big happy family, and we are also extremely lucky to have such a fun and supportive coach with Bernie Herceg. We always have a great time together whether it’s a great tournament, bad tournament, on the course or off the course. But there is no better feeling than the celebration of a team victory.

What’s it like competing alongside a high school teammate in Ryan Prinzo? Did you have any influence guiding him to BU?
Ryan and I played high school golf together and I knew he’d be a great fit for the team and school, so I took a role in guiding him to BU. He’s a great addition to the team and I think he’s very happy to be here.

What was your key to success in carding two consistent rounds at the Philadelphia Big 5 Invite last season to lead the team?
That was a very confident week for me. My swing was feeling good and the course was so nice that it rewarded good play. It felt great carding two good scores at one of our better tournaments of the year.

What personal and team goals do you have for the current season?
As it is my senior year, my main goal is to have a memorable season. That includes a few tournament victories (most importantly our conference championship in Arizona this spring), fun trips, and great team camaraderie. Also, as team captain this season, it’s important for me to lead the team effectively and make sure that everyone has a great season and plays to their full potential. As for a personal goal, I’d like to obtain Scholastic All-American honors which are having a cumulative GPA over 3.3 and a 76 stroke average or lower.

What other sports did you play growing up?
I played many sports but I put most of my time into ice hockey which I played for 12 years. I started golf after hitting golf balls at a driving range at a hockey tournament. The muscles and technique you develop from ice hockey translate well into a golf swing. I fell in love with the game. I also played varsity tennis throughout high school.

What individuals have helped shape your game over the years?
I’ve had a few swing coaches which helped me forge my game, however, it was my individual drive to obtain a Division I scholarship in high school that pushed me to practice and improve my game to the next level. My parents were also extremely supportive in funding and traveling to all my golf tournaments across the country throughout high school.

How much of a blessing is it to play at such a fine course in The Links at Hiawatha Landing where your coach is the Head Professional?
The links is an awesome course and has great practice facilities. We are very lucky to have Bernie as our coach as it gives us a lot of privileges at the course. We are extremely grateful to have a course that is so supportive of Binghamton University and our golf team.

What’s the best part about playing golf at Binghamton University?
The best part of college golf is the tournaments. We travel to six tournaments in the fall and six in the spring. We travel across the country and play awesome courses and meet players from other schools every week. Even though each tournament comes with a lot of pressure to perform, they are still a ton of fun and great life-long experiences.

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