Coming off a ninth-place individual performance at the American Southwest Conference preview, and with a round in the 60s under his belt this season, Howard Payne Yellow Jacket senior golfer Andrew Errico is looking to finish his college career on the highest of notes.
Errico and the rest of the Yellow Jackets will take part in the ASC Men's Golf Championships at Comanche Trace Golf Course in Kerrville April 28-30.
“This is the tournament we prepare for all year,” Errico said. “It's by far the most important one. I feel really good about my game right now and I'm looking forward to it.”
During a 36-hole preview event at the course April 7-8, the Yellow Jackets placed 11th as a team, while Errico finished in a tie for ninth with a 147 composite score following rounds of 72 and 75.
“I love that course,” Errico said. “We played conference there my freshman and sophomore years. This year we're playing a different nine, they have 27 holes there, but I feel really comfortable there. It's probably one of the best courses we'll play. I love the greens there, I feel like I can read them pretty well and roll a lot of good putts. Playing well at the preview definitely helped my confidence going into the actual conference tournament.”
Errico would like nothing more than to earn a conference championship to close out his career, but isn't putting any additional pressure on himself.
“Lately I've been taking it one shot at a time and I used to be really bad about thinking about my score and what I need to shoot or where I want to finish,” Errico said. “Right now I just go out there and I know how to hit the ball so I don't need to be pressuring myself to try and get first place or shoot a certain score. I know I can do it, it's just focusing on each shot.”
Errico has competed in nine tournaments and 19 rounds this spring, with an average score of 76.58. He's shot par or better in four rounds, and finished in the Top 20 of four tournaments.
Earlier this season, during the Yellow Jackets' season-best third-place team performance at the 54-hole Embry-Riddle Spring Invitational in Prescott, Arizona, Errico fired the best round of his college career – a 68.
“I enjoyed that day,” Errico said. “I actually started with a double (bogey) on my first hole. The previous round I played pretty poorly (round of 81) and starting with a double I just had to stand there in the tee box and tell myself to settle down and go one shot at a time and take it from there. I just made a lot of crazy putts and hit the ball perfect that day. The best round I've played in a college tournament before that was a 71. To improve three shots, it was a lot of fun. That's where I know I can shoot.”
Reflecting on his time at Howard Payne, Errico — a graduate of Fort Worth Hill School, where he won the TCAF state championship in both 2014 and 2015 — originally didn't anticipate attending college in Brownwood.
“I never thought I would actually come here, I thought I would just go on a visit and see what it's about it,” Errico said. “From the moment I stepped on campus I had the feeling that this is where I'm supposed to be. I fell in love with it and I've enjoyed my time here.”
Errico is proud of the strides both he and the program as a whole have made since his arrival.
“I've made a lot of improvements since I first got here,” Errico said. “Coach (Troy) Drummond has really helped us a lot and helped build the program back up. When I first got here it was the first year we started the golf team back up. Every year I've gotten better, both the physical part of the game and the mental part of the game. The way I'm thinking about golf right now, I'm at the best point I've ever been at in my game.”
A History major, Errico plans to attend Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth after graduating from Howard Payne.
“I'd like to be a children's minister,” Errico said, “and if I need to teach at some point I would do (History).”