Student-Athlete Spotlight: Justin Vrzich (Men's Golf)

Student-Athlete Spotlight: Justin Vrzich (Men's Golf)





High School


Justin's Story

When a rainstorm hits Southern California, most people have a hard enough time just driving down the freeway.

Try driving down the fairway.

That's how Justin Vrzich and his Coyote teammates spent their Monday at the Riverside College Invite – battling both the course and the un-SoCal-like weather.

"There was constant rain," says Vrzich. "From a perfect day, where you just want to shoot a good score, you go from that mindset to just surviving."

Vrzich did more than just survive, finishing the round at even par.

"It was big for me," he says, "already going through the swing change, and then adding the rain."

Add that to the list as well -- as Vrzich gets started in his college career, he's also been making some tweaks to his swing.

"Even the slightest change feels so drastic," he says. "I think I'm just a couple putts away from shooting some really good scores."

While he sees some light at the end of this particular swing-change tunnel, golf is a game that lends itself to constant tinkering and refining.

Vrzich says he's always made practice "seven days a week," even if that means just getting in an hour on the putting green.

"I always make sure I have a club in my hand," he says. "To be successful, you have to do things other people aren't willing to do."

As for what would make this season a success, he has his sights set on dropping his scoring average below par, which would put him in contention for the conference player of the year. He also has his eye on May's regional tournament, for both himself and the team.

"Golf is such an individual game," Vrzich says. "With the team, there are five guys in the field you're not competing against, but you're competing with. You want to put a good number up there to help your team out, not just for yourself."

Vrzich's ultimate goal is to make it to the PGA Tour, and this year he's already attempted to qualify for both the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.

"It's a fun atmosphere," he says. "You see people with the same goals as you, and you know they want it just as much as you do."

"Every once in a while you get paired with someone who has qualified before, and it's great to talk to some of those guys who have tasted success. It's a new level of competition for sure."

Vrzich and the Coyotes tee off next on Monday, March 6, at the El Dorado Park Golf Course in Long Beach.