At the Liberty League Championships this past Saturday and Sunday, Palladino helped lead UR to a No. 2 finish as he shot a combined six-under 138 throughout the two day competition.
Palladino’s performence won him the individual championship by seven strokes over Skidmore’s Peter Anderson. Following his No. 1 individual finish, Palladino was named the Liberty League Player of the Year and the Liberty League Rookie of the Year.
He was also named to the All-Liberty League First Team alongside UR senior golfer Ryan Williams. The ’Jackets were represented on the All-Liberty League Second Team by senior Chris Driscoll and juniors David Wien and Michael Chudacoff.
What do you in the summer to prepare for the golf seasons at UR?
Mainly, I just hit a lot of golf balls over the summer. I am on the range every day. Over the past summer I only took three days off, so it was a long season for me. I also play in tournaments pretty much every week.
In terms of competition, how does collegiate golf compare to the golf you played in high school?
The level of the courses are much tougher in college and the competition is much different. You can tell that these guys came to college to play golf. They’re not kids who just want to play for fun like they are in high school. I came to college to play golf to get good competition and everyone else did the same thing. So it’s a much higher level of competition and it’s definitely more fun to play.
Who has been the biggest influence on your golf career and why?
Probably my parents because they have told me since day one that they don’t want me to feel like I have to go to college to play golf even though I have been playing so long. They want me to play in college because I want to play, so it’s more or less that I am playing for myself at this point, not anyone else. I’m playing for fun to prove to myself that I can do it.
How long have you been playing golf?
When I started playing golf, I was three years old. But I’ve been playing tournaments since I was 10 years old. As soon as I could walk my parents put a plastic golf club in my hands and then from there on it was pretty much just me playing when I wanted to with my dad. When I was about 14, my mom told me if I was going to play a sport in college, I needed to choose between baseball and golf. She was pretty surprised when I chose golf.
Who is your favorite professional golfer and why?
My favorite golfer is probably Rory McIlroy because he is a young guy and plays kind of similarly to me. He hits the ball farther than I do but I like the way he plays golf. I try to model my swing after his.
What schools recruited you to play golf in college? Why did you choose UR?
There were five or six other schools that recruited me to play golf, all D3. I chose UR because I actually played in a tournament a couple years ago with David Wien who’s currently a junior on our team. He suggested UR to me and at that point I didn’t know where I was going so I looked it up and loved it. I came to visit it and I fell in love with the school. The golf coach Dan Wesley is awesome here, too.
How have you been able to perform so well thus far in your collegiate golf career even though you are going up against golfers who may be as many as four years older than you?
I actually played in a tournament called the Cleveland Amateur where I played with a guy who was probably in his mid-40s. So it wasn’t that big of a deal. I also have played with my dad and his friends for the past five years or so. So it’s more or less just me going out, showing the older guys that I’m not just a young kid and that I can actually shoot the numbers.
What does it mean to you to be named the Liberty League POY and ROY, and be named to the Liberty League First Team?
It was kind of a relief. I was hoping to do something for the team and do something for myself just to show coach and the team that I’m here to play and be a good team player. So it was good to earn those awards for those reasons.
What are your goals for the spring season, both as a team and individually?
The team goal is always nationals, trying to get to D3 nationals. That’s the most important thing. I know for myself a couple more victories would be nice. I’m not trying to force anything. I’m just trying to put up at least a par every time so the team has something solid to base their scores on.
What are your superstitions when you’re on the golf course?
I always have to carry two special ball marks in my left pocket: a poker chip that I got from my home course and a half dollar that my dad’s business partner gave me. I always mark my ball with the half dollar.
What was the best round of golf you ever played?
I played in an American Junior Golf Association tournament in Erie, Pa. over the summer and shot 66, which was six-under par.
Mulberg is a member of the class of 2014.