By Carolyn Linck, '11
The Santa Clara University men's golf team is stacked with talent and experience and have high hopes for the 2010-11 season. Led by WCC Player of the Year, senior Scott Travers, and U.S. Open Sectionals qualifier, junior Cory Mehl, the Broncos are preparing to open the 2010 campaign on Monday, September 13, at the Palouse Cougar Collegiate hosted by Washington State University. Recently SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) had a chance to sit down with junior co-captain Cory Mehl (CM) to get his take on the upcoming year, the team's dynamic, and his evolving role on the team.
SCB: How old were you when you started playing golf? Who taught you the game?
CM: I have been playing golf since I can remember. My dad brought me to the driving range and put my car seat in the golf cart so I have been around golf all of my life. My dad taught me all the fundamentals of the game, and we still have a great time playing with each other today. He is my inspiration.
SCB: You've had two great seasons playing golf at Santa Clara. What are you looking forward to in your junior year? What are your goals on a team and individual level?
CM: This season I am looking to win tournaments individually and as a team. If I can win individually I feel like that would help the team, so that is my goal entering every tournament. I feel like I have matured a lot in my time at SCU and am ready to win and become a top player in the WCC. As a team, I believe we should win the WCC Championship. I really think this is our year. We are the most talented team in our conference and we have a lot of experience.
SCB: What's the dynamic like on the team? Are you all really close? Do you help each other out when you're having problems with your game?
CM: The dynamics on our team are good. We're all very competitive and everyone pushes each other to become better everyday. We have a lot of fun on and off the course, but it's most fun when we win.
SCB: Now, as an upperclassman, do you feel your role on the team has changed?
CM: At the beginning of freshman year I struggled to travel and was on the bottom of the totem pole. Now, going into my junior year I am the co-captain, so my role has definitely changed. I feel I have made a lot of progress. Hopefully I'll keep improving my game in the rest of my time at SCU.
SCB: What do you think is the strongest part of your game right now and what aspects are you working to improve?
CM: The strongest part of my game is probably my short game, but my long game has improved over the summer. I have been working a lot on my mental game and being able to concentrate during intense situations when I need to perform.
SCB: What has been your favorite moment playing golf at Santa Clara so far?
CM: My favorite moment was winning in Palm Springs as a team last year. It is not easy to win a tournament in college – about 13 teams are in the field every time – and in golf it is always tough to win. That's why it really felt awesome to break through and know that our team is capable of doing great things.
SCB: What was it like playing in the U.S. Open Sectionals?
CM: Sectionals was fun, and it was a good experience to play with the pros. It made me feel good about my game because I could hang with them in a tournament. I am not quite at their level yet, and it is going to take a lot of hard work, but I feel like I am capable of competing with professionals.