By ASHTON O’BRIEN
Beakon Staff Writer
Senior golfer Rocco Turner is striving to defend his state championship from a year ago, but he’s also looking to do more.
“As a team I believe we can win a state championship this year and individually I want to defend my state championship while also having a chance at a national championship.” Turner said.
Last year Turner placed in the top third of the field at the National Championship Invitational at the high school level. Turner has been a four year varsity letter winner on the Cardinal Mooney golf team. In his four years he has been awarded team MVP every season while winning eight invitationals to go along with his state championship last year.
Going into the state tournament last year, Turner had a goal of going to the top of the leaderboard early and never leaving.
“I made a birdie on the first hole and never looked back.”
Getting to the top of the leaderboard after the first hole led Turner to gain confidence. In his first round, he accumulated three birdies and finished with a score of 74. This was enough to put him one stroke ahead the rest of the field going into the final round.
In the final round Turner came out hot knowing he had a great chance at a championship. Through six holes Turner was five strokes ahead of the rest of the field.
On the seventh, Turner had the hole of the tournament, he crushed his drive more than 300 yards perfectly in the fairway. He followed that up with a three wood shot from 265 yards out, struck beautifully and cut to within 10 feet of the pin. He hit a perfect putt directly into the middle of the cup to make an eagle and extend his lead to five strokes. He was able to hold off the field for the rest of the day to win the championship.
Turner has grown up watching and learning golf from his grandpa Michael Deperro who played college golf at The Ohio State University. This led to his love of golf and competitive nature.
“He taught me the game of golf from the first second I could walk,” he said. “We have spent so much time practicing and playing together.”
With all of his goals still in play, Turner also has his eyes on the long-term as well.
“My goal is to continue my career at the Division I level,” he said.
Turner has received a lot of interest from multiple major Division I universities and has a bright future ahead of him.