DADE CITY, Fla. — The key to Michael Kania’s success as a collegiate golfer for Villanova University comes down to talking about Space Jam, The Departed, and music that his coach has never heard of.
There’s also this thing called talent, but staying relaxed, not putting too much pressure on himself, and keeping his mind off the round helps Kania stay within the game.
Golf is as mentally demanding as it is physically and it is these distractions that allow the Wildcats golfer to just play the game he loves.
“I’m having fun out there, even if I’m playing bad, I’m always trying to have a good time,” he said, minutes after finishing the second round of the USF Invitational at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club. “I just try to enjoy it out there.”
Kania finished the tournament atop of the Villanova team with a +1 and finished in a tie for 12th on the overall leaderboard.
The 21-year-old insists his game is not “methodical,” and instead plays because of the enjoyment.
For him, fun on the golf course means joking around with teammates, coaches and opponents, while playing aggressively. His approach is to go at the game hard, proactively chasing pins and hitting drives.
The Harverford, Penn. native’s offensively-minded play works for him because of his confidence in himself and his approach. He says of his golf game that “I feel like I can hit any shot out there.”
Kania’s style, he admits, can sometimes be overly aggressive where he chases difficult shots instead of playing conservative. It’s these types of shots and situations that he attempts that are sometimes to the dismay of his coach.
Although without any regrets, the lanky golfer shrugs saying “it’s just my game.”
At the USF Invitational, held Sunday to Tuesday (March 4-6), Kania played to his strengths from the outset, playing aggressively like he loves to do.
“I stuck to the strategy, some of the pins didn’t really make sense to fully go after but I still tried to go after them.”
Even with the impressive showing at the tournament and his success so far this year, the Villanova Junior insists “it’s a lot more of a sport to me than other people.”
It is this love for the game, his ability to relax with humour, and style of play that allows Kania to keep his mind from becoming too focused and applying too much pressure on himself, instead he just plays the game he loves and plays it well.