WATERBURY — Post University’s golf team made history this season, thanks in part to the efforts of Beacon Falls native Anthony McNamara.
McNamara, a freshman, helped the Eagles advance to the Division II national championships last month for the first time in school history.
Post qualified for the championships, which were held May 15-19 at the Cardinal Club Golf Course in Louisville, Ky., by finishing fourth at the Atlantic/East Super Regional.
At the super regional, which was held May 7-9 at the Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pa., McNamara shot one of the best rounds of his collegiate career, firing an 8-over 79 in the final round to help the Eagles earn the last advancing slot.
Playing in Division II’s most important two tournaments wasn’t a bad way to end the season for McNamara, considering he didn’t think he would even get to play a competitive round this spring.
“I did not expect that at all,” said McNamara, an accounting major who joined the team as a walk-on. “When the season began, coach [Pete Stevens] told me that I probably wasn’t even going to play this year, and I would have to learn behind some of the older players. But some players got injured and he gave me the chance to qualify.”
McNamara, a 2011 Woodland graduate and four-year golfer for the Hawks, played four tournaments competitively for Post. His first outing, the Carolina Sands Intercollegiate in White Lake, N.C., was his best. He shot his two best rounds to par, finishing the two-day tournament at 9-over.
Soon after, McNamara found himself in the most surreal moment of his career.
“I was on the first tee at the national championships and thinking that only a year before I was playing in the East Mountain Junior Championships,” McNamara said. “It was unbelievable. I never thought it would happen.”
Post took its lumps at the national championships, finishing last of 20 teams in the round-robin portion. McNamara again saved his best round for last, completing the tournament with an 11-over 83 on a tough golf course.
Now through his first collegiate season, McNamara is already into his summer season. He finished his first one-day tournament of the summer on Tuesday, shooting a 5-over 77 at the Quarry Ridge Golf Course in Portland.
He also works at Oxford Greens, his home course in high school.
“I work at Oxford Greens so I practice there a lot,” said McNamara, who currently has a handicap of two and hits his best drive around 270 yards. “I’ll probably play five or six tournaments throughout the summer to stay competitive. In college, the pressure is a lot different so you have to stay up with it.”
He calls his home course his favorite one to play.
“Oxford Greens is probably my favorite course around here,” McNamara said. “It’s a risk-reward course. It can be easy if you’re playing well, but it can make you pay if you’re not. It’s a good course to practice on because it has good length.”
McNamara said he always strives to work on his consistency on the course, and wants to improve as much as he can to hopefully have a career in golf.
“I want to be the best I can be at it and see where it can take me in life,” McNamara said. “I want to play professionally, but I have to be realistic about it. Hopefully I can do something with it.”