Sept. 17, 2009
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -
USC Upstate men's golfer Josh Gallman fired a final round 66 en route to winning the 2009 Rutgers Invitational. Gallman's round of 66 broke the school record for lowest individual round. The Spartans, as a team, finished second in the event.
During his career, Gallman recorded 13 top-five finishes and finished in the top 10 in 11 other events. The Gaffney, S.C. product has been named to the All-Atlantic Sun Conference team the last two seasons.
Gallman recently talked with Alex Edwards of upstatespartans.com about his career at Upstate as well as plans for the future.
At this year's Rutgers Invitational you birdied four of the first six holes on Saturday, what was going through your mind after that great start?
I tried not to think about it at all, because if you start thinking about it, that is when you will start making bogies. Not thinking about is key, because if you start playing poorly you can get frustrated and the round could wind up in the opposite direction of where you started. I just focused on the hole that I was on and just tried to make birdie, if not a par was ok and I would just do my best to get a birdie on the next hole.
What are the goals/expectations for the golf team this year?
Obviously we want to win tournaments this year. It was disappointing finishing second at the Rutgers Invitational and dropping from fifth to seventh at Francis Marion was a letdown as well. We have several talented guys on our team and we are looking forward to the tournament at Oregon State. With the amount of potential we have on our team, if we can utilize it, we can win tournaments.
You arrived as a freshman in 2006, how has your game changed since you first arrived on campus?
I would say that my mental strength has been the biggest change since I first started here. I've gained confidence in my swing and other aspects of my game. I used to worry about things that didn't pertain to shooting a good round. When I step on the first tee I just focus on trying to birdie the first hole. Once I get to the second hole, I will focus on that hole and so on. We are a team but you have to focus on your round and your round only. If you start thinking about how your teammates are doing, that may cause you to stumble on a few holes and could end up hurting the team.
Because you are a senior and your career at Upstate is beginning to draw to a close, what are your plans after your time at Upstate is over?
The goal is to play on a pro circuit. Right now, I am not sure which one that will be, but that is the plan. I have come this far and have been successful and I just feel it's something I need to pursue. Next summer, I plan to work very hard and likely play amateur golf one more summer. After that I will participate in qualifying school and, hopefully, I will find some people that can help me out financially and then I will go from there.
What do you consider being the strongest part of your game?
I would have to say my misses aren't bad. Sometimes people have really bad misses and that could cause them to really struggle on that hole as well as the next several holes. I do my best to limit the mistakes and I feel that I take good advantage of opportunities after hitting fairways and greens in regulation.
What advice would you give to younger golfers who aspire to play collegiately?
I would suggest that they practice hard and really stick with the game. There are so many talented, young people out there, that with enough practice they can be very successful. There are several young golfers competing against Tiger Woods and others nowadays. Because of that, younger golfers should have the desire and motivation to better their game.
What has been your favorite course that you have played on during your college career?
It would be hard to top The Meadows (Allendale, Mich.) where we played our national championship event. It was a very difficult course, the roughs were very long, the fairways were fast and the greens were firm and fast. It was a great test for our team and even though it was difficult, I would have to say it is my favorite.
If you were able to play a round on any golf course in the world, where would you choose to play? Why?
I would have to choose Augusta National. Mainly because of the history of the course and being able to play on a course like that would be an amazing experience.
Who is your favorite professional golfer? Why?
Tiger Woods is my favorite professional golfer. I know the camera will zoom in on him a lot and catch the bad things that he says and I know that a lot of young kids look up to him. But I do admire his competitive nature and I love how pumped up he gets after making key shots.
What has been your most memorable moment while at Upstate?
I hate to say it, but it would have to be the national championship and losing by one stroke. It hurt to lose, especially after I shot a four-under par on the final day, the lowest round by two strokes. Just having a solid round at a very tough course was very rewarding. I hit many quality shots and even though it wasn't perfect, it was one of my best collegiate rounds.