Captain Alexa Tsay ’17 began playing golf at the age of five years old, and was competing in tournaments by the age of seven. Tsay’s dedication to the sport has allowed her to develop into a strong player, earning her the number one seed last and this year on Andover Golf, as well as the title of team captain.
Tsay’s mentality about golf has changed over the course of her time at Andover. According to Tsay, her four years on the team have developed her into a skilled match and team player, rather than just an individual golfer.
Tsay said, “When I was younger it was harder to see how golf might be a team sport, just because I was so used to playing at the individual level, but now it’s definitely about keeping a positive attitude for everyone on the team, making sure everyone feels comfortable, and making sure everyone knows what’s going on since there are so many newcomers. And definitely just thinking about how the team does overall is more important than your individual match.”
Tsay credits the supportive team mentality as being one of her favorite things about golf at Andover.
Tsay said, “I think it’s definitely fun being able to play on a team because I’ve never had that before, it’s always been an individual thing for me, and golf can be a lonely sport, but getting to play with everyone everyday is really fun.”
As the sole captain this season, Tsay works to create a fun environment for her teammates. She leads by example through hard work, and also works to be friendly and open to her teammates.
Tsay said, “I try to be friendly to everybody, I try to have fun out there on the course. We don’t have that many returners this year — we only have five total out of 16 — so I am still getting to know all the newcomers, but definitely trying to make a welcoming environment. Golf is a pretty laid back sport so [we] just try to have fun.”
Head Coach Brian Faulk ’00, who used to play for Andover, said, “Alexa is certainly one of the fiercest competitors that I can remember coaching or playing against as a student. Her focus and passion for the game set the standard for the underclassmen — on and off the course.”
Tsay’s work to create a welcoming environment is recognized and appreciated many newcomers including Grace Posorske ’20.
Posorske said, “I came into the team not really knowing anyone and I think Alexa made a huge effort to reach out and be friendly while we’re on campus or while we’re on the course and ask me how my rounds were going and everything.”
Harry Choi ’19, a returning member of the team, is also grateful for Tsay’s friendly persona and hardworking attitude.
Choi said, “Alexa is a very positive person, she gets the best out of everyone, and everyone wants to work hard. We follow by example and I think she does a great job of that.”
In addition to her friendly leadership style, Tsay pushes her teammates to work hard and in order to be their best.
Alex Cleveland ’18 said in an interview with The Phillipian, “Alexa is a very professional leader, she brings a very professional attitude to the course everyday and she makes everyone around her better.”
“When you play with her, you feel the pressure. She’s given me some swing tips here or there, but whenever I play with Alexa I tend to be better because playing with better people makes me better,” he continued.
Posorske added, “Alexa is everything a leader or a captain of a team should be. She’s very dedicated to the sport and she pushes the team forward and she pushes us to do better, but at the same time she’s so friendly and kind that it makes you feel like you want to work hard for the team because you want to make the team proud and Alexa is a big part of that because she sets an example for everyone else to follow.”
Tsay has also helped her players develop into stronger team golfers, a skill she herself noted developing while at Andover.
Choi said, “I think she has helped me play more match play, before I came here I did a lot of stroke play events, tournaments, and I’m not really used to playing match but I think she really helped me [know] how to strategize and how to stay strong mentally I think.”
Following an 8-4 win over Tabor last Saturday, Andover will continue to look to Tsay as a leader and strong golfer as the season progresses.