Texas Tech men’s golf senior Sandy Scott started his last season with an individual championship at the Carmel Cup and competed in the Walker Cup. A couple of days before heading to Toledo, Ohio, for the Inverness Intercollegiate tournament, the senior expressed his goals and accomplishments over his last three years.
He was introduced to golf as a child by his father, Scott said. His dad was an assistant professional at Scott’s hometown course, Nairn Golf Club.
"I look up to my coaches a lot here and my family back home," Scott said.
Scott set a new Tech scoring record in the 2018-19 season after posting a 70.2 scoring average, according to Tech Athletics. He also earned his first collegiate win at the El Macero Classic with a 3-under-par performance. Scott earned a Big 12 All-Conference nod in the spring season and was on the Haskins Award Watch List and earned Golfweek Preseason All-American honors this preseason.
Scott is planning to go into the professional league after he graduates in May, he said. Scott’s former teammates who went pro such as former Red Raiders Fredrik Nilehn and Hurly Long are two players he looks up to, along with Tiger Woods.
“I always liked Tiger Woods, he’s been a role model for me—on the course, maybe not so much off the course,” Scott said. “I look up to my coaches a lot here and my family back home.”
The 2019-20 team has good chemistry on and off the course, Scott said. The team bonds as everyone are friends with each other.
As the oldest of four children, Scott said he is used to having responsibility. As the lone senior for the Red Raiders, he said he has to give advice and teach the younger golfers how to be a college athlete.
“Technically, being a senior, you got a lot of guys looking up to you since you’re the oldest and stuff,” Scott said. “You just have to do your best and lead by example and then teach them a thing or two that maybe you’ve learned over your experience in the last few years. So, that’s my role this year.”
With two freshmen and two sophomores on the eight-man team, Scott said he is looking forward to spending time and traveling with the team. He also is looking to improve his game in his final year.
“I love college golf, getting to travel another year is just great,” Scott said. “It’s a new team environment, a new team and getting to improve on the last three years is just exiting in itself.”
Scott was selected to play in the Walker Cup on Sept. 7, and he said it was one of his goals throughout his career. Other goals Scott would like to execute is to qualify for another Palmer Cup and qualify for match play in the NCAA tournament. He said he would like to win at least four tournaments as a team, which would break the Tech record for most wins in a single season.
When Scott first arrived at Tech, he said he struggled with homesickness, but he had his teammates to lean on. His advice to the younger players would be to take advantage of the team and keep pushing.
“When I came (to Tech) I was troubled a little bit with homesickness. It took me a couple of years but it’s important to persevere,” Scott said. “You’ve got some great guys around you to help you through it, and this is ultimately what’s going to prepare you best for the professional game, which is ultimately what we are all aiming for.”
While on Tech’s golf team, Scott said the different cultures on the team were enjoyable. With half of the players being from other countries, the culture makes the team more well rounded, he said.
“I think it’s great, you bring a little bit of each country to the table,” Scott said. “You get to appreciate where everybody comes from a little bit. It’s a really fun atmosphere.”
In the first tournament of the season, Tech won the Carmel Cup and Scott won the individual championship. Scott said the team and individual win at the tournament was a highlight of his collegiate career.
Other accolades Scott has received were being a Jack Nicklaus Award Semifinalist, his first Arnold Palmer Cup Selection, PING All-American Second Team and PING All-Central Region, according to Tech Athletics. Scott said the team works hard in practice and their performance on the course is just trusting all the work they put in.
“We work hard off the course and put all the preparation in beforehand,” Scott said. “So really playing is the easy part. We just play a free, relaxed mindset and trust what we’ve been doing in practices.”
Scott said one of the main lessons he’s learned over the last three years is that golf is a mentally tough sport. He said a player has to have a good attitude and being able to think correctly is a huge aspect to a good performance.
The team will participate in Big 12 Match Play on Oct. 11 in Houston as the team is coming off of wins at The Carmel Cup and Inverness Intercollegiate.