As the first native of Newfoundland to play NCAA Division I golf, sophomore Blair Bursey came to UVU with many accolades. Bursey was a four-time Provincial Junior Champion in Newfoundland and was named the NLGA Male Golfer of the Year in 2013.
However, success at UVU didn’t come right away. It took Bursey 17 tries before he picked up his first individual title as a member of the UVU golf team.
At the Bandon Dunes Championship on March 6-8, 2016, Bursey shot a five-under-par 208 (71-68-69) to claim the individual title and help UVU finish sixth out of 12 teams. For his play, he was named the Western Athletic Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week.
Along with his individual title at Bandon Dunes, Bursey also placed in the top-10 in three other competitions this season: He placed 10th at the OGIO Utah Invitational in October, he placed eighth at the Pat Hicks Invitational in February, and he placed fifth at the Cal State Fullerton Folino Invitational Feb. 16.
While his personal goals are important to him, he’s more concerned about what he can do for his team.
“I had a fairly solid year last year,” Bursey said. “I didn’t satisfy my expectations but I was pleased with myself. Heading into this year, I want to continue refining and to be a steadier contributor to the team. So far I feel like I’ve been able to do that. I’m hoping to keep that going.”
Newfoundland, residing on the eastern coast of Canada and expanding past the American east coast, is a long way from UVU. As hockey is the top sport in Canada, being recruited to play golf was difficult.
“It’s difficult to get recruited … being from Canada. I didn’t have much interest from schools on the east coast,” Bursey said. “Coach Chris Curran called me, and put a lot of trust in me, and gave me the best scholarship offer.”
Bursey graduated from Gander Collegiate with a 3.9 GPA in 2014 and plans on majoring in Physical Education at UVU. He had to adjust to the Utah atmosphere but it is a transition that he is happy he made.
“Utah is definitely different,” Bursey said. “I’ve enjoyed my school, and being able to play golf here. It’s been a good opportunity. I’m glad I’ve come here.”
The next golf tournament for the men will take place at Chamber’s Bay in University Place, Washington. This is a course that Bursey played on last year, and he remembers his experience.
“It’s a tough golf course,” Bursey said. “It’s one of the best of the west. I didn’t play very well there last year. I want to improve on last year’s performance just to continue what I’ve been doing.”
Bursey is a true competitor who understands the way to become better is through patience and perseverance — and that success doesn’t happen overnight.
“Every day you do the same things over and over again, but you’re working towards something,” Bursey said. “You just try to win every day, and do your best every day. You don’t build a wall with one piece, you build it one brick at a time.”
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.