Athlete of the Week: Hunter O’Mahony

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Growing up with the clutter of golf clubs and golf balls, Hunter O’Mahony began playing golf when he was 2 years old.

“I have three older brothers and an older sister, and I grew up watching them play golf,” said O’Mahony, senior business administration major and sports management minor.

Not only is one of O’Mahony’s brothers, Greg O’Mahony, a former shark and member of NSU men’s golf team, but he was also inducted in NSU’s hall of fame.

“My older brother [Greg] is my role model. He always helps me with my golf swing and always tells me what do to get better,” O’Mahony said.

A Tequesta, Florida native, O’Mahony played four years of golf at Jupiter High School, where he was the recipient of the First Team All-Palm Beach award and the All-County and All-Region awards his senior year. He was also a 2011 All-American and qualified for the 2012 U.S. Amateur Tournament. One of O’Mahony’s many accomplishments in high school serves as one of his most memorable moments playing golf.

“That was when I won the 2011 Florida State Junior Championship,” said O’Mahony. “That moment, along with winning the championship with the team last year, are my top two moments.”

Following in his brother’s footsteps, O’Mahony joined NSU’s men’s golf team. He started his golf career as a Shark with an 11th place finish at the Brickyard Crossing. O’Mahony finished the spring season of his freshman year nationally-ranked number 11 and finished 11th overall at the NCAA Division II National Championships.

As a sophomore, O’Mahony started off the fall season by finishing eighth at the Guy Harvey Invitational, an event in which he started a string of four events where he placed eighth or better. He started the spring season that year tying for the Sharks’ best finish, third, in a team victory at the Armstrong Pirates Invitational.

I recently got the chance to meet O’Mahony and ask him some questions.

Since your brother was inducted in the NSU hall of fame, do you feel that there’s more pressure on you to do better because of that?

“I wouldn’t say it’s more pressure, but it’s something that I want to do as well. I think it would be pretty interesting to have two brothers in the same school’s hall of fame. It’s definitely a target for me and an ‘I-have-to-make-a-name-for-myself’ kind of thing. My brother was part of the reason why our golf team is the way it is today back when he started here.”

What are your goals after graduating?

“I’m going to stay amateur for the summer and more than likely turn pro in August or September of next year. I want to go to PGA Tour-Q School.”

Are you planning on utilizing your degree any time soon?

“Hopefully, no. I’m sticking with golf for now. I hope to be playing golf on TV. I’m actually starting an internship soon with the Florida Panthers, so I do have a little bit of a fall-back plan. I can always use my degree, but the ultimate goal is to play golf on TV.”

What are your thoughts on Coach Jamison getting the best coach in south Florida award?

“He definitely worked hard for it. I mean, he’s always helping us whenever we need him, and he’s always the first one on the golf course. He’s always the first one to message us and ask if we needed help on the side. I’ve had many golf coaches in my career and through high school, and he’s definitely the hardest working one. I’m not just saying that because I’m biased, but he really does put the team first and it’s awesome.”

What would you say was the best part of last season other than winning the championship?

“In years past, our team chemistry hasn’t been as good, and the results showed up last year when we were really close as a team and helping each other out, and that’s what makes the team as good as it is. So I would say just watching that all come together and watching our golf team flourish at the right time.”

What’s your most memorable moment as a golf player?

“Last winter break when I played a tournament. I played the Broward Amateur, and I made a double eagle on the fifth hole in the second round.”

Do you have any personal goals this season?

“I kind of set a goal over the summer that I want to make the Palmer Cup team, which is like a Ryder Cup for college students. I think it would be really cool to make the team as a senior.”

How would you describe your relationship with your teammates and your coach?

“I think we’re one big family. We’re always hanging out together, and we’re always practicing together because we all get along really well, which is the reason why we’re a really good team. I mean, our coach Ryan is like our father. He’s always looking out for us, and he’s always doing what’s best for us.”

What motivates you the most?

“My sophomore year, we lost in the finals to Barry University, and that kind of made my blood boil. We’re obviously a pretty good team. So that’s a big factor in motivating me. I wouldn’t say having my brother in the hall of fame does the same thing, but it’s kind of definitely something to keep me on my toes.”

Do you have any pre-match rituals?

“I used to mark my golf ball the same way, but now I switch it up depending on how well I play. If I have pizza the night before, and I do really well, then I’ll eat pizza again.”

Photo Credit: COURTESY OF M. GALLNER

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