Marty McGuckin set a goal for himself this year, and so far he is on track to meet it.
The sophomore wants to use the momentum he has gained to reach his season-long goal of having a scoring average below 75.
He has yet to finish a round with a score higher than 78 this season. McGuckin tied for 10th with a 1-over-par 71 at the Cornell Invitational on Sept. 16 and 17. At the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge in Vermont on Sept. 23 and 24, McGuckin finished tied for 52nd at 10-over par 72. He didn’t compete at Temple’s third event, the Firestone Invitational on Oct. 2 and 3 in Akron, Ohio.
In September, coach Brian Quinn told The Temple News McGuckin will be “an integral part” of the program for the next three seasons.
“Marty is a very gifted golfer who has the ability to shoot very low scores,” Quinn said. “He’s gonna be a huge impact player for the program this year.”
McGuckin said he felt he came to Temple “a little immature” and “didn’t know how to play in competitive tournaments.” Although golf was one of his main focuses in high school, McGuckin felt that the experience that he had with the golf team at Malvern Preparatory School was limited compared to where he is at now. The tournaments he played in during his high school career at Malvern Prep were only nine holes.
“If you want to finish in the top 10 of a tournament in college you have to be at par or better,” McGuckin said. “In high school, if I shot par or better I would have won every single time and it wouldn’t be close. It was a wake-up call.”
At Malvern Prep, McGuckin “excelled in a variety of sports” including squash and baseball, said Jimmy Faunce, a sophomore at St. Joseph’s who played squash with McGuckin.
“Marty was really good at all of the sports he competed in, and his natural ability really aided him,” Faunce said. “He improved through practice as well, but his natural ability gave him a leg up on everyone.”
During his junior year of high school from 2014-15, McGuckin gave up baseball to focus more on golf. In the summer, he also began playing in professional tournaments.
McGuckin learned more about how to compete on the course in Summer 2017 and built a strong resume of showings. He had 13 birdies at the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship in June. He shot 4-under par in the first round of the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Pennsylvania Open in August. He shot 5-over 70 in the opening round of the 113th Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championship and finished tied for 25th.
“This summer I found that I could use my driver as a weapon,” McGuckin said, “I can hit 15 greens a round. But those three I miss, I have to get them up and down in order to do well.”
In his second college season, McGuckin has found a new respect for practice.
“The one thing I focus the most on is my putting. College golf does not provide you with as many birdie opportunities, and it is pivotal to capitalize on every chance you get,” McGuckin said. “It is time to practice to the best of our abilities, and get the most out that we can.”