Parents today think they have to get their kids involved in sports right away if they want any chance of going somewhere.
Some athletes, like golfer Riley Goss from midtown Toronto disproves this notion.
Now entering his senior year at Saint Leo University in Florida, Goss didn’t fully commit to golf until well into his teens.
“Around 15 or 16, that’s when I stopped playing other sports and really just focused on golf,” said Goss, standing in the sun outside the athletic centre. “My last year of high school is when I thought I really want to give this a shot and go to the next level.”
For Goss, that meant moving to Pasco County in Florida and playing for the Saint Leo Lions.
“It was my best opportunity,” said the Northern Secondary alumnus. “And it’s hard to beat the weather down here compared to Toronto.”
In each of his first two seasons at Saint Leo, Goss set his season best performance, a 71 as a freshman and a 70 as a sophomore, at the Guy Harvey Invitational.
Goss credits his success at the event to watching the professionals play the course, but he doesn’t miss out on the chance to realize where he is standing.
“The PGA Honda Classic is always played on that course and just seeing the shots that those pros play,” said Goss. “I find it pretty cool to be like ‘this is where Tiger stood, this is where Rory stood, and this is where Adam Scott hit a shot.’ ”
Less than four years after committing himself to golf full-time, Goss found more success than most golfers will, being on the roster of the 2016 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship Team.
“I wasn’t able to be there,” said the Toronto native, who was not one of the five who played the last rounds. “But just being close to the guys and texting each other all at the same time was great to be a part of.”
For Goss, the ultimate goal of his golf career is unsurprising.
“After I’ve graduated I would love to pursue a professional career and train to see if that happens,” said Goss. “If it doesn’t then I don’t really know.
“But the dream would be to play on the PGA Tour.”
If the dream comes true, no one who knows the family will be surprised.
Goss is the son of two-time Olympic medallist swimmer, Sandy Goss who won silver medals for Canada in the 4x100m medley in 1984 and 1988, and the brother of Kennedy Goss, who was part of Canada’s 2016 Olympic bronze medal winning team in the 4x200m freestyle swimming.
“It’s pretty cool, it’s something to look up to,” said the proud son and brother. “Now that golf is in the Olympics, maybe I can sneak in there too.”
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