Travers tops Tiger on the links

And he garners a glory unequaled in California golf since 1942.

At 6-foot-4, Scott Travers ’11 looms above most other golfers, but as a high school senior he was all but invisible to recruiters, barely getting a sniff from Division I coaches. He came to Santa Clara as a walk-on, knowing that even if he didn’t make the team he’d get a good education.

Four years later, Travers has surely made more than a few coaches at other schools throw their putters in frustration for missing a rising star. In 2009–10, the redshirt junior rebounded after a year lost to mono and turned in one of the greatest seasons ever for an SCU golfer.

Last season he had five top-5 finishes and nine top-10 finishes in his 11 tournaments, leading to an at-large entry into the NCAA Regional Tournament, where he finished 54th. The performances earned him honors as West Coast Conference Player of the Year.

In his final season for SCU, Travers, a finance major, is looking for added glory both for the team, which has its sights on making the NCAA regional tournament in June 2011, and for himself. He wants to vie for consideration as the best player in the country before graduating to life as a professional golfer.But that was just a prelude to his summer success when he won the California State Amateur Championship in June and then rolled on to victory at the Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship in July. It was the first time since 1942 that the same man held both titles, and Travers eclipsed a very elite name in the process. His 16-underpar 268 at the Southern California Amateur was the tournament’s lowest score ever, beating a record established in 1994 by none other than Tiger Woods.

Four years ago that would have been laughable. Now it’s a realistic goal. The college coaches who passed on the chance to recruit him didn’t see his focus and passion for improving his game, he says.

“If I’m not playing well, it’s going to make me even that much more driven to work my butt off to start getting better scores,” he says.

post-image He chips, he wins: Scott Travers at the 2010 Southern California Amateur, where he took home the cup. Photo: SCGA
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