SCU Golfer Scott Travers Sets Sights on NCAA Championships

By, Brian Elser `10

INDIANAPOLIS - Santa Clara University junior Scott Travers was selected to play in the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships, as announced Monday. Travers was awarded an at-large berth into the tournament based on an outstanding season, which included the honor of being named the 2010 West Coast Conference Player of the Year.

Travers is one of 10 individual qualifiers in a 75-player, 13-team field that will compete at the San Diego, California Regional, May 20-22 at Carlton Oaks Golf Course. The top five teams from each of the six regionals (54 holes each) and the low individual not a member of those teams will advance to the NCAA Championship on June 1-6 at The Honors Course near Chattanooga, Tenn.

Playing in every tournament this season, Travers had one of the best scoring averages in the nation (71.09). He posted nine top-10 finishes and five top-5 finishes. Additionally, 22 of his 33 rounds were at even par or better. Travers has also shot in the 60's a whopping 14 times in 2010! His play this fall earned him the WCC Player of the Month award for October.

Travers helped Santa Clara to a third place team finish at the West Coast Conference Championships in Vallejo last month. His best score came at the Del Walker Intercollegiate on October 22, where he fired a 9-under par 201, which was just two shots off the lead in the 98-player field.

Brian Elser (BE): What made you want to come to Santa Clara and play golf?
Scott Travers (ST): Well, first of all I didn't even know if I was going to be on the team since I walked on my freshman year. Santa Clara was in my top two schools and I had a chance to play golf, and I thought, why not give it a shot? And everything since then has just managed to work out perfectly.

BE: How long have you been playing golf for?
ST: My dad took me out on the course when I was two, and I played every once in awhile with him. But I probably started playing competitively since I was ten or eleven in junior tournaments.

BE: How are you preparing for the NCAA Regionals?
ST: I've just been playing the normal courses (The Club at Boulder Ridge, Eagle Ridge GC, and San Jose CC) we get to play around here, just trying to stay ready and keep practicing and keep my game in shape. Not really working on anything in particular.

BE: What is your favorite course?
ST: We've had the opportunity to play some awesome courses; we got to play Pebble Beach and Cypress Point among others. But I don't know if I can answer that, there are just so many courses that are awesome.

BE: What is your biggest strength on the course?
ST: I'd have to say not getting caught up in the results and being able to shrug off a bad hole. Focusing on the next hole and getting it back and not dwelling on the mistakes that I made in the past just doing whatever you can to hit the next shot best as possible and not worry about what happened on the last hole, just put it out of your mind.

BE: What is your favorite club in your bag?
ST: I don't really have a favorite one, but I guess I like the feel of my eight iron. It just feels right in my hands, but other than that it really doesn't matter.

BE: If you could play golf with any three others for a foursome, who would it be?
ST: Tom Watson really jumped up there in my book since watching the British Open last summer. I didn't grow up watching him or anything, but just watching him play was pretty cool. I'd probably say Phil Mickelson because he is such an amazing talent. And I really don't know who else.

BE: Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you do prior to a tournament?
ST: I really try not to believe in superstitions, just because they just seem kind of silly to me, but I guess they are good for routines and feeling comfortable. But I just don't think that tying your shoes a certain way, or putting a certain sock on first will make you play better. I just don't think there is any truth to that and I just think superstitions are kind of silly.

BE: Do you have a favorite memory of moment playing golf?
ST: I'd have to say my sophomore year we were playing my home course (Santa Ana Country Club) just south of Los Angeles, and we won the tournament as a team and I ended up winning the tournament individually in a playoff. So it was basically the perfect tournament. It was pretty special, and there were a bunch of people out there watching me so that was pretty cool too.

BE: Do you play any other sports besides golf?
ST: When I was younger I played basketball, soccer, baseball, all competitively. But once I got to high school I had to weed out soccer and baseball, and then eventually basketball. Then I started to get kind of serious with golf, and I've stuck with it ever since.

BE: You've got one more year left. What do you want to do when you graduate?
ST: I just look to improve on what I accomplished this season and take myself and the team forward and hopefully it won't just be me going to regionals and that would be a good goal for next year. And after that just try to play professionally. That's the ultimate goal and I'll try that out for a couple years. But if that doesn't work out, then I'll find a real job, and if it does work out, then that's great, then that's what I'll do.

BE: What tournaments are you playing in this summer?
ST: I have a qualifier for the U.S. Open and I'll be playing in the California State Amateur, and also in a few other tournaments in Southern California. I'm also hoping to qualify for the U.S. Amateur too.