Obecny pleased with how collegiate career has gone

CONWAY, S.C. — Thadd Obecny admits that his college golf career hasn’t gone exactly the way he envisioned when he left Wheeling more than three years ago.

After transferring to Coastal Carolina from Central Florida, Obecny seems to have things heading in the right direction as he begins his final season.

“I had some struggles early in my college career, but earlier this summer, I really felt like my game was coming back,” Obecny said. “I still think I can get a lot better, too.”

He has been able to carry that momentum he built into the season, which started last weekend at the Janney VCU Shootout held at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.

Obecny tied for runnerup in the three-round event, posting a score of 207, which included rounds of 67, 70 and 70.

“I felt good about my game all week entering the event and I played well,” Obecny said. “Before the tournament, I thought I had a chance to win. Everything just seemed to click for me. I hit a lot of greens, got up and down, made some key putts and gave myself a chance.”

His score of 207 is seven shots better than his previous low for 54 holes. It was also the first time he had all three rounds in red numbers.

“We have two new coaches this year and they’ve really helped me a lot with my game,” Obecny said. “They’ve helped with my confidence and I’m hitting the ball in the right spots to where I can score.”

With goals to still play professionally, Obecny etched his name into impressive company by virtue of his 207. That score ties for 12th best in Coastal Carolina history with Dustin Johnson, who is currently ranked third in the World Golf Rankings.

“That’s not bad company to be listed with,” Obecny laughed. “My coaches said, ‘that’s not a bad achievement to share a record with Dustin Johnson.'”

Obecny’s effort last weekend didn’t go unnoticed. He was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week for the first time in his career.

“That award means a lot,” Obecny said.

Obecny didn’t go last weekend blind. He had actually played a Southern Junior event on that course when he was 16. He didn’t necessarily remember that immediately.

“When I got there, I knew it looked familiar,” Obecny said. “I really like the course. It sets up well for me. I knew I had to hit fairways and hit the driver straight.”

Prior to warming up on the range prior to the final round, Obecny admits that some nerves started to kick in because he hadn’t been that close in some time.

“The day and night before I started thinking about it a little bit, but when I got on the range, it felt like a normal tournament,” Obecny said. “I was glad I had put myself in a position (to contend), and I just hope I can continue that.”

Obecny and Coastal Carolina are off until they trek to Chapel Hill to take part in the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, which will be held Oct. 7 and 8.

All told, Obecny has eight events remaining and then the Sun Belt Conference tournament as well as NCAA regionals to go in his collegiate career.

“It’s crazy and unbelievable how fast (college) has gone,” Obecny said. “I am still hoping to make the tour, so I am thinking about moving somewhere when I am done at Coastal and really fine tuning my game and seeing what I can do.”