Freshman Park named top of his class
For the first time in school history, a Pirate has been named Big East men’s golf freshman of the year.
Standout freshman Brandon Park was awarded with the honor last Friday and found out while on the golf course in Charlottesville, Va. competing in the Cavalier Classic.
“I was on the course at the 18th hole when Coach (Clay White) told me,” Park said. “I did not believe him at first I thought he was joking with me. I was shocked.”
Soon thereafter, Park led the Pirates to a second place finish, their best of the year, in the tournament by shooting a 2-under-par, 69-73-142.
The award should not have come as a surprise to the humble Florida native.
In the 2009-2010 season, Park averaged a 74.13 stroke, which not only led the Hall but was the 11th best average in the Big East.
On top of that, Park recorded four Top-10 finishes this year.
He also placed eighth at the 2010 Big East Championship, sharing the spot with Louisville sophomore Ryan Wheeldon, the 2010 Big East Player of the Year.
Despite all of this, Park still believed he could have finished higher in almost all of the tournaments he played in this season.
“I was hoping for more this season,” Park said. “I wanted to get a couple of wins under my belt this year but that didn’t exactly happen.”
As a freshman, Park understands that there is room for improvement in his game.
“My saves weren’t up to standard in some situations,” Park said. “It is a big part of the game and I neglected it. I focused more on my full swing.”
In addition to being named freshman of the year, Park was also one of 15 golfers to be selected for the 2010 All- Big East men’s golf team.
This is the second season in a row where a golfer from Seton Hall has been on the aforementioned team. Last season, graduate John Zur was awarded with the honor.
Despite being named to the team, Park believes he should not be the only Pirate there.
“It feels good but Troy (Spencer) and other members of this team deserve this as much as I do,” Park said. “It’s good that I get to represent Seton Hall on a level like this.”
With Park having the exceptional season statistically that he did, Seton Hall was able to finish in the top third of the conference for the third consecutive season.
Park noted that the seniors played a big part in his personal achievements and those of the team overall.
“I wish them the best of luck in the future,” Park said about the seniors. “They played a big part in me coming here and succeeding.”
Along with helping the team chemistry, Park said that the graduating seniors are a major reason as to why he chose the Hall over other competitive universities while in high school.
“I was looking at a lot of schools and met a lot of good guys and coaches, but Seton Hall had the best combination of guys here that were talented that I can get along with and great coaches,” Park said. “I couldn’t like the school and campus more.”
Now that the regular season is over, Park knows how important this coming offseason is going to be.
In order for the team to finish in the top third of the conference for the fourth straight year, a strong offseason will be vital.
“The stronger we come out of the offseason, mentally and physically, the stronger we will begin the year,” Park said. “We don’t want to hit our peak two or three tournaments into the season or with two or three left.”
Nicholas Parco can be reached at email@example.com