Rugger to clubber, La’Cassie finds his fit

Sophomore Bronson La’Cassie’s move from rugby to golf has led to great things.

David McCoy

Bronson La’Cassie grew up playing rugby.

Anyone who has ever played rugby or even watched it knows the type of rugged personality it takes to survive.

So, it only makes sense La’Cassie is now so good at one of the most refined sports in the world.

Well, maybe not. As it turns out, La’Cassie’s demeanor is much better suited to the green than the pitch.

“He’s very laid back,” teammate Ryan Paulson said. “He’s one of the most laid-back people I know.”

La’Cassie’s laid-back attitude not only helped him win last week’s Big Ten golfer of the week honor but also has him ranked as the 20th-best collegiate golfer by Golfweek Magazine.

And though he’s only a sophomore, he’s already firmly in place as the Gophers’ top golfer.

La’Cassie, who turns 22 on Friday, is a native of Brisbane, Australia, which was where his rugby and golf pursuits began.

In fact, he found golf the same way he found rugby – through his father.

He said that he played rugby for 10 years along with his dad and brother when he happened to stumble upon a golf course.

“We were all into that, and then one day my dad just went out for a hit with a mate, and I ended up following them,” La’Cassie said.

Though he said that he didn’t like the sport initially, he picked it up for good at age 12 and “got really into it.” But he waited for two years after high school before coming to Minnesota.

La’Cassie said he knows there’s more to college than just golf. There’s that whole studying thing, too. Still, his laid-back, carefree attitude shines through again.

“I’ve just chosen my major,” La’Cassie said. “I’m doing business marketing education. It’s a pretty easy major, I’ve heard. So, sounds like me.”

Before coming to Minnesota, La’Cassie had never been to the United States. But with aspirations of turning pro, he said, he felt it was a good risk to take.

“It’s where you need to be for golf,” he said. “So, I felt it was a step in the right direction.”

La’Cassie said the toughest part of his move was adjusting to the weather. Of course, anyone who had never seen snow before would have a tough time leaving Australia, where even winters are 70 degrees.

But even that hasn’t flustered the imperturbable La’Cassie.

He earned his golfer of the week honor at the Augusta State Invitational on April 2 – 3, where he fought inclement weather and heavy winds to finish tied for fifth in an extremely competitive field.

The same type of focus and patient attitude was also present during Monday’s practice at Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, where La’Cassie and the rest of the Gophers were met by heavy rains three-fourths of the way through a round.

Still, they played right through it.

That kind of leadership and perseverance embodies La’Cassie, whose future as a professional looks promising.

“He’s still a couple of years away,” coach Brad James said. “He’s got a few things to work on before he takes his game to the next level, but he’s getting closer and closer. He just needs to put a win on the board to show that he’s the best amateur before he’s the best pro.”

And that just might be the only thing La’Cassie is impatient about.