North Texas Daily

Individual tournament success fuels men’s golfer as season looms

Individual tournament success fuels men’s golfer as season looms

Individual tournament success fuels men’s golfer as season looms
February 06
13:00 2022

A seven-foot eagle putt separated sophomore golfer Vicente Marzilio from forcing a playoff in the final round of the Latin American Amateur Championship in Caso De Campo, Dominican Republic. Fate had other ideas, however. Marzilio’s putt caromed off the lip of the hole, sealing University of Nevada-Las Vegas freshman Aaron Jarvis’ victory and automatic admission to the British Open and the Masters — two of the most prestigious major tournaments in golf.

“Literally [it] meant the world to me and every guy that plays that tournament as an amateur,” Marzilio said. “Because the prize is so big that it makes it a really special week in our schedule. […] Winning the tournament is a life-changer.”

The reigning Conference USA individual champion, Marzilio has proven to be competitive in high-leverage tournaments. Since arriving at North Texas in 2020, Marzilio has made an impact on the men’s golf team.

In his freshman season, Marzilio posted the best scoring average by a North Texas golfer since 2017-18 with an average score of 72.43. Marzilio rounded out his first year with All-Conference and All-Freshman honors. Earning an automatic bid to the 2020-21 NCAA regionals, the Mean Green golfer finished No. 21 in a field of 75 players.

“I think it helps him get on a platform to help lead this team,” Stracke said of Marzilio’s success. “It will help us along the spring to do the things we want to do, like go to the finals of the NCAA and do things like that.”

Growing up in his native Argentina, Marzilio and his older brother, Lautaro, grew up playing soccer, basketball and tennis. Looking for a fourth sport to add, Marzilio’s parents, Pablo and Alejandra Marzilio, took their kids to a golf lesson. The brothers immediately found a new passion that would shape both of their futures as they focused solely on golf.

The four-year age gap between the two brothers translated to the course as Lautaro was the superior golfer initially. Rather than keeping the skill gap between the two high, Lautaro instead chose to help Vicente improve his game.

“I was super curious about how to get better at that early age,” Marzilio said. “I was like, ‘How do you do that? How do you go three holes in a row without making a double [bogey]?’ [Lautaro] helped me every time I asked him.”

Lautaro eventually attended Bellevue University in Nebraska, playing golf for the Bruins from 2016 to 2018. Marzilio would find his way into college golf in 2019 when Stracke took a recruiting trip down to South America to scout a golfer from the same region. By chance, Stracke’s trip would instead find him scouting Marzilio more than his intended target. 

“It was interesting, because I was recruiting another kid down in South America, and [Marzilio’s] name kept popping up, he kept beating this kid that I was recruiting,” Stracke said. “I dug into [Marzilio] a little more, got some information on him and that’s how we landed him at [North Texas].”

Over 5,000 miles away from his home, Marzilio was dropped into a new culture and environment from what he had known in Argentina. Adjusting to his new surroundings, Marzilio found an outlet through his teammates and golf which helped the young Argentinian adjust to Denton.

“I feel like the first year or two it’s [been] all new, it’s very overwhelming, you feel like everything is fine and it’s great, but there are moments I want to be with my family of course, and with my friends down in Argentina,” Marzilio said. “ I think in those moments it’s where you go to your friends in the U.S. and the guys or the team or the coach…those are the moments you can get through and try to stay happy.”

Senior Sean Wilcox joined North Texas at the same time as Marzilio, a graduate transferring from the University of Tennessee. Wilcox has seen Marzilio grow as a golfer in the last two seasons as his teammate.

“He’s settled into being [in the United States] now,” Wilcox said. “Maturity-wise, he’s matured so well in his golf game and although he’s always been an incredible player, I think that maturity has made him even better.”

With the men’s golf season set to start on Feb. 21 in La Quinta, Ca., Marzilio carries momentum after the Latin American Amateur Championship.

“Even though the [LAAC] didn’t go my way at the end, it gave me so much momentum,” Marzilio said. “[Men’s golf] has a tournament three weeks from now in California, [good performances] give me so much energy to start getting ready for that tournament and start playing again.”

Image source Mean Green Sports

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Reed Smith

Reed Smith

sports editor

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