After helping the golf team win the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship, it would seem unlikely that things could get better for junior psychology major Andrew Roque, but they did.
On April 27 Roque was named SCIAC Player of the Year, this marks the fourth time in five years that a member of La Verne’s golf team has been given the award.
“The guys kind of gave it away to me,” Roque said. “They told me I was only a couple shots behind the leader, so basically it was mine to lose.”
Roque did not let the pressure get to him, in the two day championship tournament Roque shot a 70 and a 73 for a total of 143 and one under par, which tied him for third overall.
“I love being under pressure,” Roque said. “That’s why you play golf.”
Roque’s best match came at SCIAC No. 2 where he shot a 67 for a five under par, earning him second place overall.
Roque is a transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, where he played golf for two seasons and was awarded player of the year.
“I’m not surprised that in his first year Andrew was able to achieve some of the success he has because prior to La Verne he was one of the top junior college players in Southern California,” golf coach Eric Riehle said.
“He’s just naturally talented and gifted,” teammate Nick Ericson said. “He’s encouraging and willing to do anything for the team.”
Roque said that his successful season is due in part to Riehle and his coaching methods.
“He is honestly one of the best coaches I’ve ever had,” Roque said. “I’ve grown through him and his philosophy of the game.”
Roque said that his dad began encouraging him to play baseball at the age of 10, but he took to golf instead.
“It’s been a love/hate relationship with golf,” Roque said. “It’s such a cerebral and lonely sport because after you swing the club it’s all mental.”
It is the mental aspect of the game that kept Roque playing golf after all these years.
“If you want to make good shots, if you want to succeed you will,” Roque said. “If you have the will to succeed you will.”
Roque’s season is not over as he and the rest of the team are competing at the NCAA Championships in North Carolina.
Roque shot a 72 for par to help La Verne break a three-way tie and make the cut for second round of the championships
“I just want to play and be as tough as I can be,” Roque said. “I just want to be a lot better than I am now.”
Elsie Ramos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.