By Nick Bernal
After a slow start to his collegiate career, University of Colorado men’s golfer Jason Burstyn burst onto the scene during the 2009-10 season and is yet to look back.
When Burstyn arrived in Boulder as a freshman for the fall semester in 2008, he had aspirations of making an immediate impact after having a very successful career at Palmetto High School in Miami, Fla. However, the Buffs were a very experienced team and after talking it over with head coach Roy Edwards, he decided to redshirt.
“Nobody really wants to go into college and redshirt,” Burstyn said. “It was a little disappointing, but I definitely think that it was for the best. I was adjusting, the workouts were very hard for me and just being in a whole new state…I had a lot to figure out and I was able to stay motivated even though I knew I wasn’t going to be playing in tournaments.”
Burstyn has really enjoyed his first two years in Colorado and is glad that he chose to come to “the best golf school that he had an opportunity to go to;” he is quickly learning that CU offers plenty of benefits away from the golf course. As you would expect, moving from Florida to Colorado didn’t come without an adjustment period.
“The biggest transition was just going so far away from home,” Burstyn said. “I didn’t know too many people, but the golf team was helpful and I made friends with my teammates. It was just a big adjustment being away from home for the first time.”
Burstyn credits teammates Pat Grady and Justin Bardgett with helping him improve on the golf course, but he says that the biggest impact has come from Coach Edwards, especially when it comes to course management.
“It has been really good,” Burstyn said. “[Edwards] has helped me think my way around the golf course. It’s been a huge help and it saves me a lot of shots, I just figured out how to do that the last two tournaments. I think that is why I did so much better those last two tournaments.”
Burstyn finished the season strong as he went into The Aggie Invitational and posted his best 54-hole score in his young career with a 5-over 221; that was good for 38th overall and was the second best among the CU competitors. He followed that up a 30th place finish at the Big 12 Championships, despite a double bogey on the last hole of the tournament. He was again CU’s second highest finisher and had the sixth best four-round total of any freshman in the field.
Burstyn has carried his late season success into his summer tournaments. Wednesday he finished up a US Open Qualifying Tournament and will finish a playoff on Thursday morning, if he wins the playoff he will advance to the sectional round US Open qualifying and bringing him one step closer to the 2010 US Open.
“I did the US Open Qualifying Tournament today and shot two under [par],” Burstyn said. “I’m actually in a playoff now; we’ll finish the playoff [Thursday] morning. I can just play so much better now…without even having to hit better shots. Just by knowing what to do before I hit the shot, I feel like that has been the biggest thing that [Edwards] has helped me with so far.”
With his confidence growing, Burstyn already has his sights set on next season with the Buff.
“I want to be ranked in the top-50 in the nation next year as an individual,” Burstyn said. “That’s really my main goal heading into my sophomore season.”
Burstyn knows he has to continue to improve, but if he can continue to do that, he will have a chance to reach his goal.