Saturday, December 7, 2013
Tyler Moody had three objectives in mind after graduating from Cony High School in 2010. He wanted to attend an in-state college, study pharmacy and play golf.
GETTING IT DONE: Cony High school graduate Tyler Moody shot less than 80 in all of his matches last season for the University of New England golf team. A grad student in the school’s pharmacy program, Moody hopes to lead the golf team to a state title this season.
He accomplished all three by choosing the University of New England in Biddeford, although none of it has been easy. Moody spent two years as an undergrad in the pharmacy program, then enrolled in four-year graduate school which took him to UNE’s campus in Portland. Striking a balance between golf and studies has meant foregoing one or the other.
“It’s definitely made it harder,” Moody said. “When we have matches, you miss all the classes that day. Sometimes I miss the golf as well. There’s too many tests in grad school.”
Despite the hardships, Moody has excelled at both endeavors. As a freshmen he was low scorer and led the Nor’easters to the state championship. And last season, he was the only golfer on the team to shoot less than 80 in all his matches. For his career, Moody is second on the all-time scoring list with an average of 79.8.
“Tyler’s been as steady as I’ve had in the program,” UNE coach Kasey Keenan said. “I told Tyler it would be pretty cool to come in with a state championship and leave with one.”
Keenan and Moody agree this year’s team has the talent to win another state title and there’s depth, too, which may make any absences by Moody easier to take.
“I’ve got eight guys who can compete for the top five spots,” Keenan said. “He’s probably going to miss a few (matches). We don’t want him to get too far behind (in his studies).”
Moody, who is a member at the Augusta Country Club, was introduced to the game by his step dad, Kyle Riggs, but said he didn’t get serious about the game until he entered high school. He enjoyed a successful career at Cony where he finished seventh in the state in Class A his junior year and lost only one regular-season match over his last two years. Keenan said Moody has always demanded a lot of himself on the golf course, but has learned to channel that intensity to make him a better player.
“It’s just me maturing,” Moody said. “I’ve always been that type of person that’s expected a lot out of myself. It is tough in golf, but you can also use it to your advantage.”
Moody met his goal last season of shooting all his rounds in the 70s. This year he’s wants to be low man or medalist at one of his tournaments. The season begins for UNE on Thursday at Sunday River. Moody would also like to see his team leave on a winning note.
“I just want to get something else on that banner,” he said. “(The one in 2010) was the first banner we ever had for golf.”
As one of the team captains, Moody said it’s difficult to interact with his teammates while he’s on a different campus, but he will do what he can for them during matches and practices. In each of the last four summers, Moody has worked as a pharmacy technician at MaineGeneral hospital and there could be job possibilities there upon graduation.
“There’s a few different roads I’m looking at,” he said.
As far as mixing studies and a collegiate sport, Moody said it’s made him more efficient.
“It’s especially good for time management,” he said. “Juggling golf and classes.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638