Dominic Sculti in the Driver’s Seat
By Mitch Silver
Dominic Sculti, a Rye High graduate who is entering his junior year at Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, won the Centennial Conference golf title this spring at Hershey Country Club. In the process, he set a single-round championship record of 66 and a 36-hole record of 137. F&M totaled a team score of 281 strokes in round one, which set a new CC record for the lowest team score in the opening round of a championship. Sculti was tabbed as Player of the Year to lead the 2022 All-Centennial Men’s Golf Team while his head coach, Andy Tompos, collected Coach of the Year honors.
Sculti told me, “Golf was something that I picked up from my father at a very young age. We would go out late at night and play a few holes right before the sun went down at Rye Golf Club. However, I was never able to truly commit to the game because I also played baseball.” He continued, “Even though I wasn’t a bad second basemen, my heart was always on the course. I eventually decided to end my baseball aspirations and completely focus on golf the summer going into seventh grade.
Unfortunately, that was the year the greens died out at Rye Golf Club. Dominic would play every day from dawn till dusk; since the greens were closed that summer, he could only hit to the temporary greens, little spray-painted circles at the ends of the fairways.
“The greens dying that summer was a negative for many, but it was actually a huge positive for me because I had access to the course that a 13-year-old would never have had otherwise,” he offered.
Every weekday, Dominic would try to play 18, then go putt for a few hours, then go play a few more holes with friends: Jonathan Burinescu, Brian Latkany, Mico Jaramillo, and Tiernan Gough.
“I fell in love with the game and dedicated myself to getting better and started to set new goals. First, it was to break 80 consistently, then break 75 consistently. We made junior golf important again at Rye Golf.”
He said the transition to playing golf in high school is a little tricky because the season starts the second week of March, when there may still be snow on the ground. “Whatever we faced, Coach Pat Romano, who has been around a long time, got us through. He is an amazing leader.”
Coach Romano, in turn, had this to say about his four-year varsity player: “Dominic is a great kid. He was an absolute pleasure to coach in high school. He takes the game very seriously and is a very talented golfer.”
Throughout his high school career, Dom said he never thought he played at the level he was capable of. That being said, he won two Met PGA Junior Tour tournaments and three-peated as RGC’s Junior Champion.
“When I got to college, I felt like I was a different player,” he explained. “Due to Covid we didn’t have a fall season my freshman year at F&M, which was actually a huge help in the long run. It allowed me to get comfortable with our course, get close to my teammates, and not have to worry about the pressure of staying in the lineup every week. Freshman Fall is a tough transition and the relaxed nature of mine allowed me to build a foundation at F&M.”
Dom has come a long way since the 2021 spring season, when he said he played “well enough to stay in the lineup but not well enough to contend in any tournaments. But every tournament gave me valuable experience on the NCAA level.
“It is very hard to win a golf tournament. Very. Almost everything has to go your way. Going into sophomore year I felt like my breakthrough was coming, but it never did. I kept finishing second and making mistakes at the end of tournaments that cost me a first-place finish. However, even though I couldn’t win individually, our team would win most of our events, which is always the main goal.”
Fast forward to the spring of 2022. “At the Conference Championship it all came together. My ball-striking was consistent, I made the putts when I needed them, and was scrambling for par at the most important times. It was the biggest win of my life.”
This summer, Dom was focused on improving his game in every way. He completely changed his ball flight in hopes of being more consistent and even gaining a few more yards. At the RGC Member/Member Tournament, his hard work paid off. He and his partner, Jonathan Burinescu, won the event, shooting a 7-under par.
“Aside from Coach Romano and Coach Tompos, I have to credit my family: Without Mom, Dad, Tino, and Vincent, I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far.”