March 09, 2009
You won’t catch Andrew Svoboda ’03TCB shaving a few strokes off
of his golf score.
That’s because the former member of the University’s golf team
is so incredibly talented that he doesn’t have to. The Larchmont,
NY, resident has been making quite a name for himself since going
pro in 2004. In 2006 he was one of 18 players in a field of 153 to
qualify for the U.S. Open, missing the cut by one stroke and
finishing two strokes ahead of famed player Tiger Woods in the
second round of the Open. He has also consecutively won the Winged
Foot Golf Club Championship for several years and this year won the
Atkinson Open on the North American Pro Golf Tour and shot a 1-over
par 72 to win the North Fork Bank New York State Open at Bethpage
Black in Long Island, NY. His success is no surprise to his St.
John's teammates as Svoboda captured 13 individual titles while a
student. He recently took a break from his busy touring schedule to
take a swing at some of the questions posed by the
How long have you been golfing?
I’m 27 now so for about 17 years.
What first drew you to the sport?
I grew up on the sixth hole of the east course at Winged Foot [Golf
Club in Mamaroneck, NY]. My family had a membership there and they
had a pool so we would go swimming. I started going to the golf
clinics at the club when I was 10 and I started caddying when I was
12. That taught me a lot about the game and from then on I would
play whenever I could.
Growing up, were you always athletic?
I was a good soccer player and I played some basketball. I was
starting point guard but I don’t think I was all that great a
basketball player. (Laughing) I definitely wasn’t going to be going
pro or anything like that.
What are some of your best memories of being on the golf
team at St. John’s?
Hanging out with the guys on the team. They were a great
group of guys and we had a lot of fun. We got the opportunity to
travel and to play on some really nice courses. We won quite a few
times too so that was fun also.
How did playing at the University prepare you for your
Just playing Division I in college really helps you to learn how to
manage your time. It teaches you what you need to do to get to the
next level. It was a strong conference and you played against a
number of talented players and teams.
Have you always wanted to be a pro golfer?
My senior year I won six events out of 14. I was playing
quite well and then I played a lot of top amateur tournaments and
when I did well I realized that I had the ability to make it going
pro. It’s funny because some of my friends turned pro too and a lot
of the guys I played college golf with I am still competing
What’s the most challenging thing about being a pro
The lifestyle. You are traveling all the time and staying
in different hotels. Living out of hotels constantly is probably
the most difficult thing.
What’s the best thing about being in your field?
You get to play golf all day and you meet people with whom
you share a common interest.
Do you have a favorite course to play on?
St. Andrews in Scotland was pretty cool. The whole town there just
loves golf so that made it even better to play there.
If you weren’t golfing, what would you be doing?
That’s a really good question. Probably something business
related, like working on Wall Street or perhaps in real estate.
Hopefully, I won’t have to do that.