Timeout with…. Mike Zausmer ‘15


Photo by Katie Weeks ‘16

Mike Zausmer ‘15 is able to practice on his mini putt green in his room, complete with a bunker and pond.
Mike Zausmer ‘15 is able to practice on his mini putt green in his room, complete with a bunker and pond.

You finished the Lafayette Invitational with a solid four over-par 75 on your final round. Do you feel like you are playing the best golf since you’ve come to Lafayette?

No, the best golf is hopefully still ahead of me. But my best tournaments were my first couple as a freshman. I finished fifth in my first tournament, even par 71 – 71 at Navy. I finished second at Bucknell my next weekend. That was before the rush of school got here. You come to college thinking you won’t need to do as much college as you need to do golf but you need to find a way to do them both.


What is your favorite course to play in the Lehigh Valley and why?

Silver Creek Country Club. It’s a thinking man’s golf course and it’s not the easiest. The greens are the defense; it doesn’t reward just the long ball where you just beat it and find it. There’s more strategy where you need to place your balls on the green and that’s where I found myself struggling the first days. I was going at some pins that weren’t the ones to go at. The second day I found myself below a lot of the holes and in the position I wanted to be.


You drilled the thousand dollar shot at the Lafayette-Lehigh home basketball game this winter. What were your first thoughts when it went in?

I actually don’t remember the instance it went in. I know that I was sitting in the stands with the golf team and I was nervous. My hands were sweating. Doug Fernandez and Bob Dyer gave me some good advice. Once I made it I heard everyone go crazy and was like, ‘alright, it’s time to celebrate.’ I went and hugged Colton Kirkpatrick who found me to take the shot. Looking back I can’t believe it happened.


What’s your favorite golf moment so far at Lafayette?

It has to be my first collegiate tournament at the Naval Academy. It was my back nine and we were in contention to win against Delaware… on the 17th hole, I had just made birdie on the previous hole, my coach said to me ‘we need you to birdie.’ I put it about 30 feet away on a par three and sunk it for birdie. I gave my coach a fist pump, and we went on to tie in the tournament. It was great to have my first experience of college golf be a tournament like that.


How much did the Masters suffer this year without the presence of Tiger Woods?

Significantly, it’s not the same tournament. Everyone wants to see Tiger Woods. It’s not as fun not watching Tiger Woods on Sunday. He brings the fun and the excitement. It was definitely missing something this year.


Is Jordan Spieth primed for greatness?

He won’t be the greatest but he has a lot of talent. He practices hard and always works on his game. I remember he shot 63 his first round with Tiger Woods and 64 his first round with Phil Mickelson. He’s got the game, the strength and a beautiful girlfriend. He really has everything.


Last semester you studied abroad in New Zealand. How much golf did you play?

I took some time off. I needed it. I probably played six to eight times. My dad came and I was able to play at some nice golf courses I wasn’t always able to play at by myself. I was there to travel and learn as much as I could about New Zealand.


Which is the better golf movie: Caddy Shack or Happy Gilmore? Could golf use a Happy Gilmore type character on the professional tour today?

Happy Gilmore. I could probably recite every single line. I’m a big fan of Happy and his story. Hitting the long ball on the range in just his second time playing golf. You might be seeing someone like him in Bubba Watson. He provides some comedic release but I’m not necessarily sure he would be accepted on the tour.


What is something people do not know about you?

I’m a very spiritual person. I believe that there is a lot of hope that goes into everyday and that I can succeed. While there are things that are tough for you, they make you a better person.


Quick Hitters:

Favorite Food: Mom’s Lasagna

Favorite Athlete: Jack Nicklaus

Favorite Movie: Toy Story

Favorite Club: Putter