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Young golfers talk the importance of education amid sport success

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There are so many great traditions at the Masters, from everything surrounding the tournament to the players themselves.

We also get the chance to see plenty of young players before they hit the peak of their careers.

We’ve spoken a lot about the former champions still in the field over the past two days. With golf seeing unprecedented growth over the last two years, it’s equally important to talk about the young guys in the field.

On the professional side of the tournament, Collin Morikawa is just 24-years-old and has already won a major tournament. He was able to transition very quickly from a successful college career to a great start to his professional career.

Morikawa actually chalks this up to staying in college for four years, which helped him build his confidence and get his degree.

“And I think a lot of juniors, a lot of amateurs... they believe in themselves, but do they really, fully believe that they can come out here on the PGA tour, compete with these guys that I’ve watched on tv my entire life?” he said. “And I think that’s one of the biggest things is that I stayed four years in college and got my degree. Because I really used that last year to be as prepped as I could or as I can by the time I got out here.”

That’s been the same philosophy for one of the three amateurs in the field.

Tyler Strafaci who won the Palmetto Amateur in 2020 admitted he started college off on the wrong foot and found himself in some academic trouble.

Over the next three years, he became an academic All-American and is now the favorite to be the lowest-scoring amateur this week.

After turning down the chance to go pro, Strafaci, like Morikawa, says it’s his grades that have helped his confidence on and off the golf course.

“You’re going to have to grow up, but there’s no reason why you can’t go out, work hard and get good grades,” Strafaci said. “And that should be one of your main focuses in school because getting that degree and getting those good grades is going to set you up later in life.”

Another fun fact about Strafaci is that he and last year’s low-scoring amateur Andy Ogletree were roommates for three years.

We also have the potential to see back-to-back amateur titles going to Georgia Tech golfers, something I’m sure Matt Kuchar would be happy to see.

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