After being announced captain of the golf team earlier this month, senior Joe Leavitt showed his leadership by earning a first-place finish at the Ryan T. Lee Collegiate Memorial this past weekend.

Being a leader isn’t necessarily a new responsibility of Leavitt’s.

“I feel I’ve always been a leader on every team I’ve ever been on,” he said. “To be named captain was great, but obviously with that comes great responsibility.”

Leavitt started playing golf at the age of 10 at a course near his hometown, Atkinson, NH. In high school, he was a three-time Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year and a two-time conference champion. He was the state’s amateur champion in 2012 and 2014.  

During the recruitment process, Leavitt was impressed with URI, but ultimately pursued his dream of playing down south at Florida Southern College.

At FSC, he played in just three events as a freshman and kept URI in the back of his mind. Not only was it a place of familiarity, but also he admired head coach Gregg Burke.

Leavitt decided to transfer to Rhode Island for his sophomore year. Under Burke’s coaching, Leavitt focussed on honing his short game.

In his sophomore year he played all 11 events, earning four top-five finishes, including a first-place finish at the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association.

Leavitt’s junior year was more of the same, recording nearly the same results. Again, he recorded four top-five and one first-place finish.

This offseason, he was named the team captain.

“I am not going to be a boss,” Leavitt said. “I am going to take the young guys under my wing. I know how hard this sport can be. There are a lot of bad breaks, and rarely are there good ones.”

He helped lead his team to a first place finish in the season’s opening event by posting four consecutive birdies in the final round.

“I think we have a chance to be one of the best teams in URI history,” he said.

When the talented golfer graduates with a communication degree in the Spring, he said he has plans for becoming professional in May and hopes to compete on the Canadian tour.

“One way or another I want to do something in my life with golf,” Leavitt said.