Adam Svensson initially signed a National Letter of Intent to play college golf at UNLV, but with some misfortune, the Vancouver, British Columbia, native ended up at Barry University, a Division II school in Miami Shores, Fla.
“I still tell him to this day, I don’t know how I found out he was available,” Barry head coach Jimmy Stobs said. “But he came for a visit . . . and came to school last January.”
Since joining the team in January of 2013, Svensson has been on a roll, collecting award after award and tournament win after tournament win.
During his freshman campaign, he had multiple opportunities to win, but got “over aggressive” said Stobs, who is in his 12th year of coaching the Buccaneers, and he couldn’t pull the trigger on his first collegiate victory.
But with all top-10 finishes with the exception of the NCAA Championships (T-15), Svensson won the Phil Mickelson Award as the Most Outstanding Freshman in D-II golf.
After helping the team to a national championship, Svensson, a member of Team Canada’s National Team, got the experience of a lifetime when he received a sponsor exemption into his home country’s lone PGA Tour stop – the RBC Canadian Open.
The then 19-year-old didn’t make the cut, but learned valuable lessons from practice-round playing partner Billy Horschel.
“My game is similar to theirs (the pros), it’s just putting the numbers together” Svensson said. “. . . How he played the game and went about the game. It was like playing chess, placing his ball correctly, in the right spot to made birdie or to get up-and-down. He’s a very well-rounded golfer and I kind of took that aspect to my game.”
Jump ahead to the 2013-14 season, the sophomore has won six times – a school record – and has three more tournaments yet to play.
“I’ve just tried to take my game to another level,” Svensson said. “Just working with my two coaches (Stobs and assistant coach Chris Carlin), and working on simple things, like not making bogeys and being less aggressive. Its been paying off.”
During the Buccaneers’ last tournament – the team’s own Buccaneers Invitational – Svensson shot 10-under 61 in the second round at Normandy Shores Golf Club in Miami Beach, Fla.
He added that everything was working well for him, and that on Nos. 13-18 he made all 3s coming into the clubhouse.
Barry, No. 1 in the Golfstat Rankings, will try to win its third NCAA Championship this spring.
Even after winning five of its nine regular season tournaments, Stobs said, “The guys have been making progress, but were not where we totally want to be.”
A scary thought for an already dominant team.