Michigan men’s golf coach Andrew Sapp didn’t recruit Christian Vozza.
But after this past weekend, Sapp is certainly glad he’s got him on his team.
Vozza, a sophomore who committed to the Wolverines during former coach Jim Carras’ final year, started off the Wolverines’ 2003 season in style this weekend, shooting rounds of 74-69-67–210 to finish third individually in the Northern Intercollegiate at the Michigan Golf Course.
He not only nearly beat the entire field of 75 golfers, but he did so playing as an individual, which meant his scores didn’t go toward helping the Wolverines out of their 12th-place finish.
Vozza’s qualifying rounds in practice prior to the weekend were not low enough to make the tournament team, but after this weekend’s performance, he won’t be playing as an individual for much longer.
“I was pretty much in the zone,” Vozza said. “Everything was just consistent. In the last round, I hit 16 greens and birdied three of the last four holes. I’ve never been that consistent.”
Sapp couldn’t have been happier for one of his golfers.
“I was more than pleasantly surprised with the way Christian played this weekend,” Sapp said. “He worked hard all winter long on his conditioning, and I really challenged him to perform. Now I’m glad to see he’s getting what he worked for.”
When Vozza came to Ann Arbor last fall, he didn’t expect it would take him more than a year to make an impact.
Coming out of Grand Rapids Baptist High School, Vozza was a first-team all-state selection three times and was a member of the 2000 state championship team. He was recruited by the likes of Notre Dame and Emory.
Yet during his freshman season, Vozza played in just two events for the Wolverines and his scoring average was 75.16.
“I didn’t realize how hard it was to balance everything as a freshman,” he said. “Playing a sport and going to school here is like having two full time jobs. Everything just suffered. I was disappointed.”
Vozza’s game wasn’t up to par, literally.
“I didn’t play as much as I hoped, only being in those two tournaments,” he said. “But it’s been my goal to get it back.”
Vozza recommitted his mindset, and his game during the summer. Now he’s back.
He played in the Western Amateur, one of the largest amateur tournaments in the country and almost qualified for this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.
“I worked hard all summer because my game wasn’t up to speed,” Vozza said.
For now, Vozza’s got a spot in the starting five. In fact, he’ll be playing No. 1 for the Wolverines in this weekend’s tournament at Indiana.
Vozza knows that he must maintain consistency to stick around, but if there’s anyone ready to make his presence felt, it’s Christian Vozza.