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05/05/2012

USF's Karsono getting it right on, off course

Bulls sophomore golfer posts 4.0 GPA, named Student-Athlete of the Month

TAMPA, Fla. -- Bodi Karsono is what head coach Chris Malloy describes as a "classic overachiever."

The USF men's golf team's rising sophomore has handled his business well on the course this season, most recently posting a top-20 finish at the Big East Championship, while keeping his grades way better than par as a marketing major and finance minor.

Karsono posted a 4.0 grade point average this fall that pumped his cumulative GPA up to 3.93 and he was rewarded for his efforts by being named USF's Northwestern Mutual Student-Athlete of the Month in April.

"I know that he will be successful after college," Malloy said. "He's just good at everything that he does and he's a winner."

Success doesn't happen for Karsono by just snapping his fingers, however, with the Gainesville native having to stick to a strict schedule on most days.

"I have to go to class, have to go to practice and don't really have time to be messing around," he said.

It's all worth it for Karsono because hard work gets him better prepared for a dream career on the course or to become a valuable asset in the business world.

"Plan A is definitely golf. I want to put everything I can into golf, but at the same time I want to stay well balanced and be able to do other things. If golf doesn't work out I have other options," he said.

Karsono said he started getting competitive in golf at the age of 11 after he was glued to the tube while watching Tiger Woods compete in the Masters.

"Ever since then I've wanted to be out there doing what he's doing," he said. "That's definitely been a dream for a very long time since I started."

Karsono had a chance to imitate Woods' trademark fist pump quite a bit as a younger player. The Buchholz High School product captured the county title as a sophomore and topped the Florida State Match Play field when he was 15.

Karsono is still searching for his first collegiate tournament title, but he's gotten used to being in the mix since joining the Bulls in the spring semester of 2011 as a freshman. He has posted two finishes in the top 10 and four in the top 25 after kicking off the season with a sixth-place showing at the Golfweek Program Challenge.

"I say it in the recruiting process and tell people all the time, the grades go with their athletic ability," Malloy said. "The lowest stroke average is usually the highest GPA. What pertains to that is attention to detail."

Karsono credits Malloy for helping him take his game to the next level the past two years by zeroing in what he can control from a mental standpoint.

"I feel like the physical game has always been there more or less," Karsono said. "It's just mentally I might get a little bit off. I start letting negative thoughts creep in, but he's definitely helped me improve that and made me mentally tougher."

What Karsono might be the most proud of since he's been a Bull is being a part of something special. Combine Karsono's talent with star freshmen Trey Valentine and Branden Collins, add some skilled signees and the sky is the limit for the USF men's golf program next season.

"Coach Malloy has really transformed this program just to see our rankings shoot up, to see how far we've come as a team and the people that he has coming in," Karsono said. "It's really nice to be a part of this. He's got us all going in the right direction."


This article was republished with permission by gousfbulls.com.