An Unexpected Hole In One
Student Writer: Kyle Nault
Take Anguiano's unexpected golf career at Cal State Fullerton for starters. A quick scan down the men's team roster reveals the name of Anguiano's teammate, Ryan Tetrault, a successful golfer in his own right for the Titans.
If it wasn't for a junior golf tournament pairing with Tetrault, perhaps Head Coach Jason Drotter would have never discovered Anguiano, the 2014 Big West Golfer of the Year, who at the time had zero scholarship offers from college programs.
"I was following Ryan, and Mark happened to be paired with Ryan that day, and I think he may have beat him or he hung with him," Drotter said. "You could see it, Mark's game was good, but you could see it mentally, he was playing with a big time recruit and it didn't phase him."
Playing in the rain and other tough conditions, Drotter came to a "wow" moment about Anguiano's ability and gave him a walk-on spot on the team. However, after some self- ponderment, Drotter became worried that another program might see Anguiano's ability, and decided to sign him to a scholarship offer.
"I knew that this kid was special, and just all it took was a coach to actually watch him for a few holes to see that," Drotter said, "You might not have saw it on the range at the time since he was so little, but it was fortunate, he's meant the world to this program."
From barely making the team as a freshman, Anguiano is now one of the top players in the nation in terms of scoring average, leading the Titans to consecutive Big West titles.
He credits much of his success and mental toughness to his parents, Leo and Saundra, whom Drotter calls "perfect golf parents."
"(My dad), he's come from the bottom, starting from when he was a child and worked his way up through the ranks in business, so following his footsteps...has given me a lot of inspiration."
Mark also points to his mother as the basis for his mental toughness he demonstrates on the links.
"(I get mental toughness) from my mom, definitely my mom," Anguiano said.
From his calm demeanor that has evolved from his parents' life experiences, Anguiano refers to himself as stoic, a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings.
"I keep the intensity low because I know the intensity is going to be high out there (on the golf course), I just try to stay calm, keep my heart-level down," he said.
By staying calm, Anguiano is able to hone his focus on his golf, a game that often times can be found to be a very mental battle.
"I think that's one of the reasons he's so good, he's so much better than everyone else mentally," Drotter said. "He's very level-headed, even-keeled, nothing bothers him, you wouldn't know whether he made triple or eagle on the hole prior."
Having the mental "x-factor," has helped Anguiano capture several team and career accolades during his time at Cal State Fullerton.
This year's Big West Conference Tournament Championship has meant the most to Anguiano as he is one of three seniors to "come from nowhere" to help win the team two consecutive Big West titles.
"It was very satisfying to win this year, and showing the newcomers that anything is possible if you work hard enough," Anguiano said.
Anguiano can also boast other several achievements, which include making the Big West Conference First Team for three consecutive seasons, a 2014 Folino Invitational Championship, and 2014 Big West Golfer of the Year.