For Michael Ostrower, 62 is no longer just a number.
The 16-year-old college golfer from Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School had “one of the best moments of” [his] life ”when he shot a 62, a Metropolitan PGA record, at the Bethpage State Park Golf Course Ton on July 20th.
“I think my future is pretty bright,” Ostrower recently told The Post after completing the superb lap on Bethpage’s Green Course.
“This 62 has raised the bar.”
Ostrower, an Upper East Side local, has always dreamed of attending an Ivy League school.
It may have been just a round of golf, but the milestone showed the high school junior that his dream could become a reality.
“I have proven to myself and to everyone who has helped me in my life that I can do it,” said Ostrower.
The Green Course is one of five at Bethpage. The famous Black Course has hosted several majors lately. What exactly belongs in a 62 at Bethpage? Ten birdies, seven pars and a bogey to be precise.
“Everything just worked,” said Ostrower, who had never played at Bethpage before. “I just stayed in the moment. As the round went on, the kids started to joke, but I tried to concentrate on just playing golf. “
It also required a strong support system, which Ostrower always put first. His father Steven – president of a cosmetic packaging company – is Michael’s biggest fan, stops at the golf shop after work, repackages clubs after a day and takes Michael with him to golf almost every day.
His mother Melissa – a lawyer – helped Michael become an A-Minus student at school, and his sister Jacqueline – an 18-year-old freshman at Boston University – is Michael’s “best friend.”
“Without the support of my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Michael Ostrower.
The Ostrowers visit the Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, where children are not allowed on the golf course until the afternoon. Steven grew up in the summer, went to the gym in the morning and dropped his son on the driving range. Ostrower spent hours playing mind games with himself, perfecting his shot while waiting for his tee time later in the day.
“I used to really enjoy that,” says Ostrower. “These mornings made me love golf.”
Ostrower – who started playing golf at the age of five – has been on the college golf team since middle school. His teammates called the seventh grader “little boy” – he’s now six feet tall – but when Ostrower started leading his team to victory, the nickname was dropped.
This summer, Ostrower is volunteering at Mosholu Golf Course – helping disadvantaged youth in the Bronx – as he prepares for his senior year and sophomore season as a captain. In addition to attending an Ivy League school, Ostrower would like to start a life as a professional golfer.
“Everything is possible,” said Ostrower. “The greatest thing for me is to do something in the future that I love and enjoy. And I love and enjoy golf. The idea of getting paid to play golf is wonderful. “
Ostrower has come one step closer to achieving this goal. All because of its magic number: 62.
“When he hit that 62, I was speechless,” Steven Ostrower told the Post on Thursday night. “When I see how he beats much older children, I am speechless. I am absolutely in awe of him. I always believe in this kid because I know how talented he is. He has a strong competitive spirit and a relentless will to win. He is perfect.”