INDIANAPOLIS--Every week, Cam Fuller will talk with a Horizon League student-athlete who exemplifies integrity and excellence in both the classroom and on their respective playing field. This week Fuller talked with Tom Boockmeier of the Green Bay Men’s Golf team, who is off to an impressive start for the Phoenix.
Meet Tom Boockmeier
Green Bay Phoenix Men’s Golfer
Hometown: Green Bay, Wis.
High School: Green Bay Preble
-Three-time individual medalist (2013 Butler Spring Invitational, 2013 Green Bay Fall Invitational, 2013 John Piper Fall Intercollegiate)
-Had a stroke-average of 76.7 during the 2012-2013 season.
-Finished tied for sixth place at the 2011 the Erv Kaiser Invitational.
2013 Season Highlights
-After opening the season at the 18-hole Green Bay Shootout with a 76 on Sept. 8, Boockmeier has caught fire winning his last two tournaments.
-On Sept. 10, down two-shots heading to the final nine holes at the Green Bay Invitational, Boockmeier rallied to take medalist honors. The junior closed with a two-under par 34 to win the tournament by one shot over Nick Dennis of Loyola.
-One week later, Boockmeier found himself in a similar position, playing from behind at the John Piper Intercollegiate at Bowling Green. After opening with a 75, the right-handed golfer from Green Bay, Wis. found himself 11-shots back of the leader. After firing consecutive under-par rounds of 68-70, Boockmeier stormed back for a one-stroke victory over Chris Melvin of Bowling Green.
-Has played the first 102 holes of the 2013 fall at -2 par (71.7 average)
1. You’re off to a hot start-winning the Green Bay Invitational (71-70) and the John Piper Intercollegiate (75-68-70), explain your recent success on the course?
I’m playing a lot more solid, I’m not making a lot of mistakes, I’m making a couple extra putts and I’m keeping the ball in play. Coach [Bill] Lindmark always says respect the putter and that’s the one change from last year to this year, the putts are falling.
2. Was this summer any different than last summer in terms of preparation, practice, etc.?
This summer was a little different; I played in more upper level events. I played in the Wisconsin State Amateur and the Wisconsin State Open for the first time and it showed me what it takes to play at a high level and play with the best guys in the state.
3. The Horizon League has a stable of some very talented golfers in Andrew Bailey (Cleveland State), Evan Bowser (Oakland), Kyle Henning (Valparaiso), Brendan Leonard (Detroit) and Wil Wittmann (Detroit). What’s it going to take to go toe-to-toe with these guys?
To be honest, no mistakes is what it’s going to take to go toe-to-toe with those guys. They all shoot really solid scores and they’re not going to let up and make mistakes and let someone win it. You got to play your best.
4. Speaking of Henning and Wittmann, they’re both Wisconsin natives. The whole Green Bay squad is from Wisconsin. Cold climate states like Wisconsin have a tendency to get looked down upon with such a short season. How does one prepare for the golf season in Green Bay, Wis., coined the frozen tundra?
You really have to try and make due of the warm weather we have in the summer and get ahead of the game. The biggest thing for me is time off. That’s what keeps me going in golf; I’d get burned out if I played year round. The offseason is valuable time off and as a team we still get inside and work on the swing to keep it solid. Just hitting the ball indoors at the Kress Events Center and making solid swings keeps me in good form.
5. Looking back at last year you had some very good rounds but struggled to finish off some other rounds. Are you approaching the final stretch of holes any different this year?
I’m playing well which obviously helps; I shot 63 before the season started so that’s helped my confidence. I’d say now I’m more comfortable under par this year. Last year I kind of struggled coming in and would shoot good scores turned to okay scores. Now this year I’m turning good scores into great scores by being more comfortable and making more birdies down the stretch.
6. You recently won your first Horizon League Golfer of the Week honor on Wednesday (http://www.horizonleague.org/blog/green-bays-boockmeier-cleveland-states-cronin-earn-golfer-of-the-week-honors.html), how exciting was that?
It almost doesn’t feel real. Last year it didn’t seem obtainable and this year winning the player of the week is a possibility, it’s a pretty cool feeling.
7. As a team, the Phoenix took first at the Green Bay Invitational and took third at the John Piper Intercollegiate, just four shots out of first place. How’s the Phoenix going to stack up with the rest of the Horizon League?
With Joe [Du Chateau], he’s shot some pretty good scores as a freshman which really helps our teaml. Gene [Kiela] and Dan [Ozga] played really well last year and Joe [Collard] is also playing well this year so we have a really deep team this year.
8. Your family has owned a golf-course in northeast Wisconsin for quite some time. Do you see yourself using your Accounting Degree after graduation or do you see yourself working in the golf industry?
I don’t plan on working in the golf industry; but I can’t 100% say no. I’m sure coming out of college my dad said he wouldn’t be working in the golf business and he’s been doing it his whole life, so I can’t say I won’t be working in the golf business down the road. I’d like to get into the business world, possibly banking. I guess the golf course is a good fall back to have.
9. You grew up in the backyard of the Green Bay campus, was Green Bay always a place you wanted to attend since you grew up so close?
It was always there, but I didn’t really think of where I was going to attend college until my junior year of high school. There were a few kids from Green Bay Preble where I went to high school that were student-athletes at Green Bay and I thought it would be kind of cool to be a go there.
10. As a student-athlete, what’s been your favorite class at Green Bay?
My favorite class was Popular Music since 1955. I also took a weather class called Ocean of Air with Professor Myer and he has been my favorite professor. They were both interesting classes and I know both have nothing to do with my accounting major.