When most 10-year-olds were watching cartoons, you could find Emory freshman golfer Michael Rosenbloom glued to the TV watching Sportscenter, awaiting an appearance from his favorite athlete: Tiger Woods.
Now 19, Rosenbloom has come a long way from watching PGA highlights on Sportscenter as a bright-eyed child. On Oct. 21, Rosenbloom defeated over 100 other competitors en route to becoming a co-medalist with LaGrange College’s (Ga.) Ben Womack in the Chick-fil-A Collegiate Invitational. Rosenbloom was named University Athletic Association Athlete of the Week for his performance at the Invitational.
Rosenbloom grew up in Wellesley, Mass., just outside of Boston, and attended Wellesley High School. Initially, his interests lay in film and photography, which cultivated his love for nature.
Golf seemed like a perfect blend of Rosenbloom’s two favorite things: Tiger Woods and the outdoors. The problem was that he had no familial connection to the sport, so getting started meant he had to look elsewhere for help.
“No one in my family has ever golfed,” Rosenbloom said. “I had been telling my parents that I wanted to try it, and we found these junior clinics at a course nearby. It was just something for fun I would do.”
At age 10, Rosenbloom saw golf as a hobby. It wasn’t until Rosenbloom got to high school that he started to consider the sport more seriously. His freshman year, he successfully tried out for the high school golf team. After putting in extra hours at practices and showing fast improvement, Rosenbloom earned his spot in the starting lineup.
But his stint as a starter didn’t last long. With three weeks left of the freshman season, Rosenbloom tore a ligament in his thumb while playing basketball.
“It was pretty frustrating,” Rosenbloom said. “I couldn’t play for the rest of the year, which was kind of a bummer, but it motivated me the next year to come back and get better and play better.”
When Rosenbloom did return to the game, a doctor told him to tape his thumb for the first two weeks of play. Afterwards, Rosenbloom continued to tape his thumb as a pre-game ritual.
The superstition, along with a no-quit attitude and work ethic, helped Rosenbloom make his high school career a memorable one. In his junior year alone, Rosenbloom made the Metrowest Daily News All-Star team, was named a Bay State Conference All-Star, earned a top-10 finish at the sectional championships and qualified for the Massachusetts State Championship.
By the end of his high school career, he had been named captain of the golf team and was among the top-10 golfers in Massachusetts. At Emory, Rosenbloom seems more determined than ever to add to this list of accomplishments.
Rosenbloom’s coaches and teammates immediately noticed his competitive fire when they first met him in 2017. When the team began their recruitment, Head Coach John Sjoberg admired Rosenbloom’s commitment to the game.
“[Rosenbloom’s] a competitor,” Sjoberg said. “He’s pretty intense on the golf course, which is a good thing. After practice, he’s always going out for extra holes and having a game with somebody on the team.”
Sjoberg also noted how Rosenbloom’s character stood out to him in the recruitment process.
“[Rosenbloom’s] a great kid,” Sjoberg said. “Everything you could ask in a young man trying to represent us at Emory University and our program.”
His decision to play at Emory was greatly influenced by his experience in high school. Rosenbloom said he loved the camaraderie and competitiveness that came with the sport, and he wanted to continue that into his college experience.
“When I first started, I just wanted to try it. I never knew where it would take me,” Rosenbloom said. “But, I had put a lot of time into it, and I knew that I wanted to play at the next level.”
As an Eagle, Rosenbloom has excelled. Rosenbloom’s win at the Chick-fil-A Invitational also came as a pleasant surprise to both him and his coaches.
“Winning golf tournaments is really hard,” Sjoberg said. “It was [Rosenbloom’s] first real tournament, but he played really beautifully.”
According to Sjoberg, Rosenbloom’s ability to stay composed in high pressure moments, especially near the end of the tournament, was key to his victory. In collegiate tournaments, success is uncommon, and Rosenbloom’s level head has been key in developing his golf game.
“A general rule of thumb for golf is that you just got to stay patient,” Rosenbloom said. “There’s going to be rough days, and there’s going to be good days, but you can’t get too high, and you can’t get too low.”
Looking towards the future, Sjoberg has high hopes for Rosenbloom. Though the freshman hasn’t been at Emory long, Sjoberg says he is confident that Rosenbloom is the type of leader who will push himself and other players to their best as they compete for spots in the lineup.
Freshman teammate Grant Drogosch says that Rosenbloom already encourages the team to play their best and work hard.
“I think [Rosenbloom’s] competitiveness makes other guys on the team want to work harder to become better and beat each other,” Drogosch said. “Having a teammate like Michael pushes us to want to be better.”
In many ways, Rosenbloom still resembles his 10-year-old self; he’s just happy to play golf any chance he gets.
“I love practicing, and I love the people,” Rosenbloom said. “I’m so excited to go everyday. It’s never felt like ‘Oh, I have to go do this.’ It’s just fun.”