Four freshmen pave way for future of golf team

Kayla Quigley

The 2014-2015 men’s golf team contains an incredible amount of youth, with four freshmen on the eight-man roster.  

The four freshmen on the roster include Andy Butler, Will Byrne, Zach Egermayer and Andrew MacMillan. 

Although they may be inexperienced with college level golf, they are not letting that stop them from contributing, and at times leading, to the team’s success. 

For instance, on the first day of the Patriot Intercollegiate in Lorton, Va., freshman Zach Egermayer led the team, shooting a total round of 142 for the day and tying for sixth place.  

Even on the second day of the tournament, freshman Andy Butler tied sophomore Lucas Trim for the lead by shooting an even par 71.  

Although all these young adults come from different places and backgrounds, they are united by their love for the game of golf and of Villanova. 

Andy Butler

Butler first became interested in golf when he was about seven years old, all because of his father. He used to always watch his dad leave his house on weekend mornings and would wonder where he was off to and what exactly his father was doing. 

Eventually Butler did find out about his father’s whereabouts and also fell in love with the game his dad so often played. 

Although Butler is not exactly sure what his favorite part about golf is, he describes it as “interesting, it’s a pretty unique game…It’s really hard too, and you have to think your way through the course.”  

Originally from Lancaster, Pa., Butler is a mechanical engineering major who now resides in Pittsburgh. Between the demanding coursework at Villanova and the many hours of practice that comes along with the golf team, Butler’s time at the university so far has been rather hectic. 

Although golf is definitely keeping him busy, resulting in few opportunities for free time, Butler is enjoying his freshman year just the same.  

Regarding the season, Butler doesn’t think the team has exactly reached its full potential yet, but they are close to it. 

He knows they are a young team and have plenty of time to improve. In the future, he is most looking forward to the City Six, which is a one-round tournament against La Salle, St. Joe’s, University of Pennsylvania, Temple and Drexel. 

He would really like to beat some of these teams, of course, but would also like to see how Villanova does against these nearby competitors.

 He is also really excited for all the tournaments in general and the competition they entail.     

Will Byrne

Aside from golf, Byrne enjoys fishing, hunting and really just doing anything while spending time on the water. 

A native of McLean, Va., a town right outside of Washington, D.C., Byrne takes advantage of his close proximity to water. 

While home, Byrne also enjoys golfing at his favorite golf course—the Congressional Country Club in Maryland.   

Golf has always been a part of Byrne’s life, and he has played for a little under 15 years. He enjoys many aspects of the game, including hanging with the guys on the team, the road trips that accompany each tournament and even staying in the hotels along the way. 

When asked about the year, Byrne says that although the Wildcats have had a good season so far, they could definitely improve in the spring and thinks they will, considering the amount of young talent they have. 

His goals for the rest of the fall season are to, “hopefully finish strong—to head into the spring on a good note and have a strong off season.” 

So far, Byrne loves his time at Villanova. He says it’s great and even reminds him of home. As of now, he is undeclared in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences but is planning on majoring in economics. 

Zach Egermayer 

Egermayer fell in love with the game of golf at a very young age—when he was only four years old. He attributes his early interest to this great game from his dad, who also was a successful golfer and once had a single digit handicap. 

What Egermayer most loves about golf is, “the balance between mentality and physicality” and how it is even more important to have the correct mentality. 

Egermayer describes how it tests the all-around person and can bring out the best part in each of us. Specifically at Villanova, his favorite part of the golf team is his teammates.  He describes the guys on the team as “really welcoming,” “connected” and “all best friends.”  

A native of Glen Rock, N.J., Egermayer’s favorite course to play on is at White Beeches Country Club near his home. 

However, Egermayer also feels privileged to play at the White Manor Country Club in Malvern, which is a very well known course and possibly the best modern course in Pennsylvania.

When asked about the Wildcats’ season so far, Egermayer says the team has had a solid start, especially for having four freshmen on the team. He highlights the fact that every one of these freshmen has truly made an impact to the team’s success in at least one of the rounds, which is a sign the team is moving in the right direction. 

He is looking forward to all the tournaments to come, especially because he loves the travel involved. 

Egermayer especially cannot wait for the Big East Championship in the spring, where Villanova will face many different competitors down in South Carolina.  

Egermayer’s experience at Villanova so far is even better than he expected.  He is currently undecided on his major in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, but is considering biology.  

In his spare time, Egermayer also loves to play basketball and hang out with friends. 

Andrew MacMillan   

MacMillan is a native of Phoenix, Ariz. and loves the many adventurous activities that are popular in his home state. A man of the outdoors, some of his favorite undertakings include hiking, running, white-water rafting and kayaking.  

He also is a fanatic of sports in general, particularly basketball, baseball and tennis. Although the climate here in Pennsylvania is rather different from Arizona, MacMillan is adapting well to the different weather patterns and culture here at Villanova. 

A Liberal Arts student interested in finance and economics, MacMillan loves the attentive faculty here at the University and all the great people he has met. 

An innate golfer since the age of seven, MacMillan loves the challenge golf entails and states, “It’s always a new day, new experience, new course, and a new game that you bring. You have to see how well you can do.” 

Concerning the Wildcats’ season so far, MacMillan says it is going well, especially with the large number of underclassmen on the team.  He is most looking forward to simply competing with the team and hopefully with the Big Five too. 

The leader of the Villanova Men’s Golf Team, Head Coach James Wilkes (an alumnus of Villanova himself) describes the season so far as encouraging. 

“Although we may not have finished as high in the tournaments as we hoped, we’re overall very solid because we have such a young team,” he said.  

The Wildcats have had at least three freshmen at every tournament they’ve attended and they have been averaging rather impressive scores. Wilkes feels this year is moving in a very positive direction. 

Wilkes also explained that golf is actually primarily a spring sport, so this fall season is mostly just a chance for players to become ready individually and as a team for the coming spring season. 

It gives the golfers a chance to understand what they need to do to be put into the spring lineup and also gives them time to work on any aspects of their game they need to improve. 

The tournaments are a great way for the team, especially the younger, newer members, to gain experience in a real match-environment. 

As for the talented freshmen, Wilkes can’t say enough good things about them. 

He describes them as having both very solid golf games and very bright futures. Moreover, he is extremely proud of the way they represent the University. 

They are not only respectful, but also understand that they represent each member of the university.  

“They are really special guys, but they are great Villanovans too,” Wilkes said.