Athlete of the Week Archive

April 24, 2009

LARAMIE, Wyo. -



Phil Henzlik


Your dad, Dean, played golf for the Cowboys in the 1970's and your sister, Mikala, is a senior on the Cowgirl golf team this year. When the three of you play a summer round back home in Rapid City, who wins?
"Ever since I was a kid, my Dad has been my coach. With helping me, he hasn't had a chance to really get back into the game as much. With my sister, it's pretty close but lately I have been getting the upper hand."

You also played tennis in high school and helped lead your high school (Stevens) to back-to-back state championships, what was the strength of your tennis game?
"I would say the strength of my tennis game is the same as the strength of my golf game. When it comes to game time, I just felt it was about having a gnarly attitude and staying in the moment. It wasn't always pretty, but I got it done."

We have heard that In and Out Burger is a favorite of the golf team. In all of the team's trips there, what is the most impressive individual performance you have seen?
"Well I usually can kill the most food on the team. At In and Out Burger, I had 2 double doubles, a hamburger, and fries. But Panda Express is where I shine. I usually get a 3 entrée with fried rice, and then go through the line again and get another 2 entrée."

Being a golfer, you spend a lot of time out of town. What is your favorite thing about being on the road? What is your least favorite thing?
"Being on the road makes it tough to take care of school with the schedule that we have. But there is never a moment when I would trade it for the trips we have. The guys on the trips are my best friends and we just have an absolute blast together and always will. The good times we have without question out weigh the late nights at the library. Besides, it is nothing coffee can't fix!"

What is the strangest wildlife you have seen on a golf course?
"On the golf course, on a regular basis, you run across a lot of different animals. But my favorite story was when I was playing with a kid from North Carolina who stepped over a garter snake, dropped his bag, and ran away, thinking it was a rattle snake."

What is the funniest thing that has happened on the road this season?
"There's always a lot of crackin' up going on when we're all together in the van. The funniest moments are when we roll down the window and talk to people at stoplights. In Scottsdale this year we were asking girls dumb questions at stoplights trying to get some laughs. Just college fun stuff like that goes down and makes the trips a blast."

What is the most difficult shot you have had to hit in your life (i.e. with your feet in water, or out of a bush, etc.)?
"The game is about dealing with adversity, and the courses we play are so tough, it's not hard to get in trouble. A shot that does stand out in my mind was during our last tournament at the University of Missouri. My ball was next to a bunch of trees on a par 5 which made it impossible to hit right handed. So I decided to flip my 5 iron over and swing at it left handed. I had to hit a little fade over bunkers, to a spot that was about 150 yards away, which I pulled-off! Happy to say I got up and down from there to make a birdie. Being creative is part of the game."

Being from Rapid City, how many times have you seen Mt. Rushmore and/or Wall Drug?
"I have only been to Wall Drug a couple of times, but Mt. Rushmore I have visited so many times I can't really give a good estimate. It is typical to be asked by players you compete with "Where are you from" and it is fun to watch their reaction when I tell them I live near Mt. Rushmore, because many golfers don't even know where South Dakota is. Mostly they just think it's "Somewhere in the middle." They're pretty surprised that Mt. Rushmore is in South Dakota."

After playing 36-holes in one day at a tournament, what is the perfect way to relax and recharge for the third round?
"Finish a physics quiz! Ha! No, I love just eating a big dinner, taking a hot shower, playing a little on my travel acoustic nylon guitar and hitting the hay. The 36-hole day is a common complaint among golfers but (Strength and Conditioning) Coach (Lee) Yerty has us in such good condition we are ready to play another 36! He calls us "Trained Killah's"!!"

You are majoring in physiology, what has been the coolest thing you have learned?
"Well being a physiology major, I have had the "pleasure" of taking Organic Chemistry during my last two semesters. My professor, Dr. John Hoberg, always breaks up the lecture to take the information we are learning and show how it applies in real life. He has shown us many different possible ways to cure cancer on an almost Biochemical level. I always have been interested in the way that scientists could develop a way to fight cancer."

What are your plans after graduation?
"Ever since I was in second grade, I have always wanted to be an orthodontist. So my plan is to get accepted into dental school, then on to orthodontics school, and be the guy your kids "want" to go see to get a great smile."

If you could see any summer concert this year, who would it be?
"I take guitar classes at UW so I would love to rock any style of guitar concert. But if I could go to any concert I would love to see Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. A James Taylor concert would be sweet too. I love music so basically any concert."

Who are your favorites on Maxim's Hot-100 list?
"I like the first 100-- they are all in a one-hundred way tie. Ha, no I can't say I am a big Maxim fun, more of a real girl fan!"

What is hanging on the walls in your apartment/house?
"My sister, Mikala, gave me a GIGANTIC poster of my favorite movie..."RUDY". If PEOPLE SAY DREAMS DON'T COME TRUE, TELL THEM ABOUT RUDY!"

True or False....You were recently spotted at Corral West buying Wranglers and a cowboy hat.
"False, but I wish was spotted at Corral West, hookin' myself up with some cowboy gear. Lately, I have the opinion that you are not a true University of Wyoming Cowboy unless you have enough cowboy clothes to go to a rodeo."