DURHAM, N.C. - GoDuke.com
recently sat down with junior Yaroslav Merkulov of the Duke men’s golf team to learn of highlights from his golf career. The junior owns a 21st-place finish this season in the Heel Devil Individual.
GoDuke.com: What kind of clubs do you play? Yaroslav Merkulov: I have a TaylorMade driver;
I think it is a Burner TP. I have a RocketBallz three-wood, 14.5 degree. I have
a Titleist hybrid, Titleist Combo-set irons, Titleist Vokey wedges and a Scotty
Cameron putter. I play with a Titleist ProV1X golf ball.
GoDuke.com: What kind of pre-round
superstitions do you have before tournaments?
YM: I always mark the ball heads up
with the coin. I usually try to use a coin from the ‘60s. I always walk with
one tee and one coin in my right pocket and my glove has to be in my left
pocket. It is something I have always done and I feel comfortable with it.
GoDuke.com: Is there a shot that sticks out
in your mind that you have hit under pressure?
YM: The 2009 Junior Players, which was
played at TPC Sawgrass. On the 17th hole of the final round, the flagstick was
on the far right side of the green. I remember I hit a knock-down eight-iron.
My caddie told me to keep the ball low when I was hitting into that green and I
hit it within eight feet. I made the birdie and that got me out of a three-way
tie for second place to second place alone. I didn’t win the tournament, but
that one sticks out. Another one that sticks out is when I holed a 20-foot putt
on the final hole of the state junior that same year and shot a 61 in the final
GoDuke.com: How many hole-in-ones have you
YM: One, I was 14 when I hit it. It was
on the 14th hole of my home course. It was an uphill par three and I didn’t see
it go in, but I went up and couldn’t find the ball, looked in the hole and
there it was.
GoDuke.com: What is your go to shot?
YM: Probably a draw, right to left shot.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite club?
YM: I would say the driver. I like
hitting the long ball.
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