Georgetown’s Sophomore Trio Sets New Heights for Golf on the Hilltop

By Meredith McCloskey Hoya Staff Writer

Over the past year and a half, the Georgetown golf team has experienced a wave of success ignited by the sophomore triumvirate of talent – Cody Courbier, Tristan Lewis and Andreas Huber. This trio arrived at Georgetown last fall with a mission: to take Hoya golf above and beyond all possible expectations. In only a few months, they succeeded unquestionably, bringing home the Hoyas’ first-ever Big East Championship title last year as freshmen.

“We are extremely happy that the three are working together as classmates and teammates. They brought on a nice talent pool for us to grow upon in the future,” Head Coach Tommy Hunter said.

The trio has accumulated numerous accomplishments since it took shape in the fall of 1998, and in spite of a brief lapse in their consistently flawless play this past fall, they are ready to guide the Hoyas to what will hopefully be their second consecutive Big East Championship title.

Courbier grew up in Coconut Grove, Fla., where he picked up golf when he was 10. His father’s business partner, a former member of the Notre Dame golf team, gave him lessons when he first started. From there, Courbier was hooked and played practically every day. The challenging aspects of the game have kept him interested in golf throughout the past decade.

“It never gets old. You’re always trying something new. The courses don’t change, but the way you hit the ball and how you’re playing from day to day do,” Courbier said.

Courbier attended the Ransom Everglades School where he earned a six-year varsity letter in golf. He received all-county and all-conference honors and was named to the all-state second team.

In the summer, Courbier would play in five or six tournaments, while in the fall he competed for his high school in addition to competing in individual tournaments.

When it came to choosing a college, Courbier found the decision easy.

“As soon as I saw Georgetown I wanted to come here, and I kind of put all my eggs into one basket, but it all worked out.”

According to Courbier, the academic side of Georgetown is what attracted him to the school, but he hasn’t shied away from becoming part of student life on the Hilltop. In addition golf, Courbier participates in the Native American Club on campus.

Courbier has grown up a loyal fan of Tiger Woods, whom he used to watch play at a public course near his home. “I’ve been a fan since he was 16. He’s my favorite player to watch,” Courbier said.

In the past, golf was essentially an individual sport for Courbier.

“Golf is an individual sport, and that’s what it has to be to be recognized. You don’t get recognized as a team in high school. Now at Georgetown, it’s more of a team. Here, these guys are backing me up. We play well together.”

As a Hoya, Courbier has found motivation and success by feeding off the momentum of Huber and Lewis.

“We all click. We get to feed off of each other. If I’m not playing so well, they can help me out, whether it’s instructional or motivational. I never had that in high school,” Courbier said.

Although the Hoyas’ streak of prosperity was briefly interrupted this past fall, the team has refocused its goals on the way to the Big East Championships. Courbier has also rekindled his excitement and commitment individually.

“We’re ready to go. The Big East Tournament is really our only shot at going to the NCAA Regionals, and we definitely narrowed our focus,” Courbier said. “I would say that my commitment is much greater this semester. You can’t be scared to win, and I guess I was scared to win last semester.

“Now, I want to win.”

As for the future of Georgetown golf, Courbier expects nothing but success.

“By the time I graduate, Georgetown’s golf team should be on another level.”

As a freshman, Courbier was forced to miss several tournaments due to a back injury. This spring he hopes to play a key role in the Hoyas’ effort to reclaim the conference title.

Lewis followed in the steps of his father, Bob Lewis, a four-year mem- ber of the PGA tour, when he began playing at age 7.

“Since I was little, golf has been a huge thing in the house. We always talk about it. I just fell in love with the game,” Lewis said.

Lewis, a native of Pepper Pike, Ohio, played golf throughout high school at the Western Reserve Academy, where he led his team to two consecutive conference championships. Lewis received “the gold medal,” an award given to distinguished athletes by a committee at the Western Reserve Academy. The award, not given on a regular basis, is presented when the committee finds a deserving athlete. Lewis was the first athlete at his high school to be recognized for golf.

During his summers, Lewis didn’t play as often as most the other kids who were serious about golf. For most of his life, he spent two months of the summer in France with his mother’s family, so it was difficult to compete in tournaments while traveling. Lewis did find time, however, to participate in local as well as junior national tournaments.

For Lewis, it is mainly the competition that keeps him hooked on golf, but he also finds benefits on the social side of the game.

“I love the fact that you’re outside seeing beautiful places every time you’re playing golf. You get a chance to see so much of the world and meet so many interesting people,” Lewis said.

Lewis also finds inspiration in his father: “I definitely look up to my dad more than any other professional out there. I’ve seen what he’s been through. He was only on the tour for four years, but he’s done some amazing things as an amateur.”

Golf is very much an individual sport for Lewis. However, he acknowledges the prevalent team aspects of golf at the college level.

“The difference with college golf is that if you’re out on the course and you’re not having a good day, you can’t let it slip because there are four other guys, so you have to keep your calm no matter what,” Lewis said.

Lewis could not be more content with his decision to attend Georgetown. He was attracted to the city location as well as the down-to-earth personality of the student body. The idea of the freshman trio is what lured Lewis to Hoya golf.

“I knew Andreas and Cody were going [to Georgetown], and I like that. I liked the fact that the three of us could start something,” Lewis said.

The trio has also heightened his enthusiasm about Georgetown golf.

“It’s great to have two guys to compete with. The three of us kind of egg each other on. It’s nice to have that motivation and incentive. It makes you play better.”

As a Hoya, Lewis has already experienced several highlights. Although the Hoyas did not gain a bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament last season, their win at the Big East Championships was nonetheless a tremendous moment for Lewis. “Winning the Big East was phenomenal. It was a great experience and I know it was nice for our coach too. It was nice to win it for him,” he said.

Lewis turned in his first medalist performance as a freshman at the Xavier Invitational in October 1998. He was also one of five players named to the District 2 Second Team by Golf Week Magazine last summer.

Lewis also has very optimistic expectations for the Hoyas in the future.

“We had a pretty rough fall due to a number of things, but I think everyone is very motivated this spring, and I know that we’re all thinking about winning tournaments. We were thinking and knowing we could win. This fall things changed, but we’re getting back into that mindset,” Lewis said.

Lewis has made a strong showing for the Hoyas this spring. His top individual finish so far was at the William & Mary Invitational, where he took fifth place one-under score of 71.

Like Lewis, Huber discovered golf through his father. He began playing when he was 12 and spent his summers competing daily against his older friends.

Huber grew up playing lacrosse. But playing 18 holes of golf every day over the summer paid off for the Long Island native, so he switched over to golf in his freshman year in high school and it became his main activity and commitment throughout high school. From then on, his game was constantly improving.

“I started off playing one-day tournaments locally, then started playing bigger ones and bigger ones. By the time I was 17, I was playing the U.S. Junior Amateur. It progresses. The better you play, the more you get invited to bigger tournaments,” Huber said.

Huber’s success did not begin at Georgetown. As a junior, Huber led the Garden City High School golf team to win the Nassau County Championships. As a senior, Andreas won the county championships as an individual, tying the tournament record. According to Huber, his most memorable achievement in high school was qualifying for the quarterfinals in the U.S. Junior Amateur Tournament.

For Huber, the challenge is what excites him most about the game of golf. “It’s so challenging. You have to be really sharp. The game itself is, in my opinion, the best sport in the world. You can learn so much about someone in just one round. It also has a great traveling aspect to it,” Huber said.

When applying to schools, Huber had his mind set on attending Stanford University. However, a weekend trip to Georgetown quickly dissuaded his dream of playing for the Cardinal.

After that, Huber never looked back. His career at Georgetown has been packed with success. Huber received top honors at the Hoya Invitational as a freshman, setting a new record for the lowest tournament score. But his most celebrated victory took place at the 1998 Big East Championships where he received medalist honors finishing seven strokes ahead of the second-place finisher.

“At the Hoya I was hot – I couldn’t miss, and I was playing really well. I shot a 600 and won a playoff,” Huber said. “At the Big East it wasn’t a no-brainer. It wasn’t like ‘just hit it’. I thought really well. My short game was sharp. I knew I had a huge lead, but I didn’t succumb to that and just bogey the last three holes and win by four. I still played hard, because I knew the team was close and that’s why it was so gratifying to win the tournament and for us to win together,”

Huber also believes that the trio has thrived on competition as well as companionship.

“It was cool last year because we just shot right into the line-up and had success right away. The three of us are always staying in a room together. The guy that shoots the highest is in the cot,” Huber said. “It’s fun that way.”

Like his teammates, Huber has also found a distinction between golf in high school and college. However, he still finds it to be a purely individual sport.

“In college, it’s a team championship, but it’s still five individuals going out there, grinding out their own score. At the end, it’s just a matter of numbers. But because you’re traveling and you’re all friends and you have to live together on the road, it’s different going from hotel to hotel with your best friends than sharing a room with some guy at a tournament,” Huber said. “If there are little tensions, you have to deal with that. But overall you go out there and do your own thing, and then add it up at the end.”

Huber enjoys all kinds of sports, but he’s not the kind of guy who sits on his couch all of Sunday watching football. He closely follows Tiger Woods “because he’s doing the impossible” and Phil ickelson because “he’s magical on the greens.”

Huber has been a reliable leader for the Hoyas. This spring Huber has played solidly, with a stroke average of 75.3.

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