The Youngstown State University men’s golf team has experienced success on the links, having taken top honors in its first two tournaments — the Whistling Straits Intercollegiate Tournament and the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational.
Junior Brandon Pluchinsky has contributed to this success. At Whistling Straits, Pluchinsky shot a 217 for the tournament — a score good enough to earn him a second place finish, just one stroke behind Loyola’s Garret Buckley.
“It kind of inspires you to get back out on the links the next week,” Pluchinsky said. “It was really nice, not just to get second place for individuals, but mostly for the team to win. It was more of a drive to go out and play better.”
Pluchinsky continued his winning ways with a top 10 finish at the Marshall Invitational, placing sixth out of 92 golfers.
He attributed his sixth-place finish at Marshall to a new course layout.
“It was a little bit tougher,” Pluchinsky said. “So, you were playing a little more conservatively, and I really didn’t want to shoot a bunch of pins and make dumb mistakes.”
Pluchinsky, a North Lima native, said the transition from high school to college competition was an easy one for him to make.
“It was kind of nice coming to YSU,” he said. “Knowing everyone there, I just kind of walked into it. It was fun.”
Pluchinsky indicated that team leaders — like senior captain Bryan Yeo — have helped create a positive atmosphere.
“Bryan’s a pretty good captain, one who’s really stepped into the role,” Pluchinsky said. “He knows if somebody’s not playing well, we know that he’s there and will be playing well. He’ll lead us to a bunch of smart decisions on the links.”
Head coach Tony Joy has also contributed leadership skills to the team. Last year, he was honored with the 2013-14 Horizon League Coach of the Year award.
“It’s really nice because you’re voted in by your peers, the other coaches in the conference,” Joy said. “Any time the coaches recognize you, it’s important. You’re only as good a coach as your players, and the kids improved over the year. I think the conference coaches recognized that from the previous year to last spring, we improved as a team.”
Pluchinsky said he believes the team can continue to win tournaments and can take the forthcoming Cleveland State Invitational.
“If we play to our potential, we can win,” he said. “We’ve got very good competition at Robert Morris. CSU’s been playing really well. We can’t slack off.”