Young Werenski aims for turnaround at Golfweek Jr.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Golfweek New England Junior
• Boys – par 72, 6,646 yards
• Girls – par 72, 6,003 yards
• Top-ranked boy is Jake Shuman (No. 262)
• Top-ranked girl is Isabel Southard (No. 119)
• Blue Hill Country Club played host to the 1956 PGA Championship won by Jack Burk Jr.
• Blue Hill Country Club hosted the LPGA Ping/Welch’s Championship six times (1991-1997). Winners include Liselotte Neumann, Emilee Klein, Helen Alfredsson and Dottie Pepper.
Mickey Werenski is on a familiar path to golf success. It was one forged by his older brother.
Richy Werenski, 20, is quickly becoming one of the top amateurs in the country. He won the prestigious Porter Cup on July 21, joining a long list of winners of the event that include Phil Mickelson, Scott Verplank and David Duval. Richy is ranked No. 25 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Rankings.
Mickey, 18, still is a few steps short of that, but it’s safe to say his time will come. Like his brother before him, Mickey is currently a student at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head, S.C., a golf-intensive academy where some of the top juniors in the country develop. He will follow his brother, who plays at Georgia Tech, to the collegiate golf scene in the fall of 2013. Mickey will attend Texas A&M.
But before all of that happens, Mickey is trying to regain the good form that helped him collect a significant amount of hardware in junior tournaments not long ago. During the 2010-11 season on the International Junior Golf Tour, he won three tournaments and had three more top-5 finishes. Since the fall of 2011, he has struggled to play consistently and at a high level.
“I went through a very big growth spurt,” Werenski said. “I grew almost a whole foot in a year. My coach tried to change my swing throughout that growth spurt and it kind of just made things worse.”
Werenski noted that an injury set him back as well. Adversity hit the youngster all at once.
“It was just one thing piling on top of another,” he said.
Werenski has turned to his brother frequently for advice, and uses him as a steadying voice.
“He says you just got to gut it out,” Mickey said. “He told me that when I get out of my slump I will be playing the best golf that I ever have. He’s just been there for me, supporting me.”
Werenski struggled to perform the way he wanted for several months, but now that the injury is behind him and the sudden growth spurt in check, he is excited about this summer and the strides he has made.
“I took about three weeks off from tournaments and just worked really hard on my swing and short game,” Mickey said. “And I noticed a big improvement, and my last two tournaments I’ve been playing much better.”
Mickey looks to continue his resurgence at the Golfweek New England Junior at Blue Hill Country Club in Canton, Mass., on July 30. A predominantly New England-area field will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Players with high finishes will be awarded Performance Based Entry status from the AJGA.
“My confidence is up,” Werenski said. “I’m extremely confident going into it. I’ve played the course a few years ago. I remember it a little bit, so I’m excited about that.”
As Werenski continues to bounce back from this rough patch, he will try to follow Richy’s footsteps yet again at the Porter Cup and add his own name to the event’s history books. Despite looking up to Richy, the two remain brothers – and brothers are very competitive.
“He’s my role model and I look up to him,” Mickey said. “I kind of want to be as good as him if not better. I’m pretty excited to play against him in college.”