Justin Tereshko (Carolinas GA photo)
PALM CITY, Fla. (Nov. 11, 2018) – Just because Justin Tereshko
hadn’t seen tournament action since the first week of August doesn’t mean he hasn’t been thinking about competing. For Tereshko, playing took a back seat to coaching over the past three months, but he did manage to find a way to blend the two.
“I played qualifying with the guys on the team in maybe about half the qualifiers,” said Tereshko, the assistant men’s golf coach at Louisville. “I’d been playing pretty well with them. My game was in great shape at the end of the summer.”
So on Sunday it wasn’t all that surprising that the 28-year-old came out on top at the Crane Cup. Tereshko was making his debut in the winter amateur event played at the Floridian.
Tereshko entered the final round trailing Edward Fryatt by a shot. Both opened with 4-under 67 but while Fryatt repeated that score in Round 2, Tereshko fell to 68. On Sunday, Tereshko bogeyed two of his opening three holes to fall farther behind.
“I was a little nervous, I was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go again,’” Tereshko said. “I’ve come in second and lost by one too many times.”
Three down at the turn, Tereshko loosened up and made birdie at Nos. 10 and 12 before reaching the par-5 13th on his second shot with a sweetly struck 3-wood. He made eagle, and stepped onto No. 14 tee tied with Fryatt, who followed with three bogeys. Tereshko made pars and the two tied No. 17 with a birdie. When Tereshko made par at No. 18 to Fryatt’s bogey, it gave him a four-shot victory.
Tereshko had a back-nine 31 for a final-round 66. The back nine score surprised even him at the end of the day.
“I didn’t realize it until after the round,” he said.
Fryatt, the former professional who has competed in three U.S. Opens and was reinstated in 2013, closed with even-par 71 to finish runner-up at 8-under 205. Defending champion Derek Busby was third another three shots back.
Tereshko decided to seek entry into the Crane Cup after an unusually slow fall of competitive golf. The former Transylvania player spent the past four years as the head men’s golf coach at Guilford College, an NCAA Division III school in Greensboro, N.C. This fall, he made the jump to Division I at Louisville.
The demands of competition are a little greater in this new realm, and it left Tereshko to focus on the team. He was eligible for the U.S. Mid-Amateur in Charlotte, N.C., thanks to his position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, but had to bow out when it conflicted with the Wake Forest Invitational, where Louisville took home the title.
Tereshko’s final summer tournament was the Western Amateur the first week of August. It ended a strong June and July run that included a T-4 at the Trans-Miss Championship, a T-5 at the Monroe Invitational and a T-8 at the Dogwood Invitational.
As for victory? The last time Tereshko earned one of those was at the 2017 North Carolina Amateur.
After the Crane Cup, Tereshko was headed back to Louisville to resume duties with the team. The Cardinals have an excellent resource – and source of inspiration – in Tereshko, especially when he plays alongside them.
“Their swings all look better than mine but I’m trying to teach them it’s not their golf swing that produces the score, it’s way you manage your way around the golf course.”
Mission accomplished, Coach.
ABOUT THE Crane Cup
**Will not be held in 2019
54-hole scratch stroke play event
with Mid-Amateur and Senior Divisions, hosted
the recently redesigned (Tom Fazio) Floridian
in Palm City, Florida. Tournament Director
Kevin Marsh is a USGA Mid-Amateur
champion and has helped attract a strong
field of committed players for this invitational
View Complete Tournament Information