The 145th Open - Scholarship Focus
3 min read
On Thursday 14th July, thousands of golf fans are expected to flock to the Royal Troon Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland, in order to catch a glimpse of the 145th Open Championship, which will be held there for four days, from Thursday to Sunday. Some of the world’s best golfers will be seen on the course, including Rory McIlroy, 2016 Masters champion Danny Willet and defending champion Zach Johnson. Many of these talented players’ careers started in the hands of their coaches at university, where they were able to further their skills, achieving their potential and improving as athletes. Patrick Reed is not a golfer who shies away from controversy, something that shines through when viewing his collegiate career. After finishing high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he began to play college golf at the University of Georgia, making his debut during the 2008 season. However, it wouldn’t last long, as after just one season at the school he was expelled, instead enrolling at nearby Augusta State, where he immediately made a big impression on their golf program. He helped lead the Jaguars to the NCAA DI Golf Championships twice, across two consecutive years, in 2010 and 2011. He also developed massively as an individual player – making it to the semifinals of the US Amateur, as a freshman, in 2008. Adam Scott, tipped to perform well at this year’s Open, has progressed rapidly as a golfer in recent years. The Aussie golf pro is a former world number one, and won his last major championship in 2013, where he clinched the top spot at the Masters. However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Scott. Aged just 18, he left his native Queensland to travel halfway around the world, to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Despite only spending a year and a half at the school, before leaving to embark on a professional career, the university maintains that the contribution he made to the program is significant. During his time at the school, he led the UNLV Rebels to an NCAA Championship appearance, where the team eventually finished sixth. He was also named All-American, and finished in the top 20 in five straight events during his sole season with the Rebels. Kevin Chappell makes his Open debut this year, with it being the only major tournament in which he has not played yet. However, going by his collegiate success, and the level at which he has played since, he may well surprise everyone. Chappell attended UCLA, graduating in 2008 with a major in history. During his four years at the school, he made quite an impression on his teammates, coaches and teachers – winning the Jack Nicklaus Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year during his senior year. He was named both All-American and Pac-10 Golfer of the Year, and was ranked the best amateur in world golf towards the end of his last season with the Bruins.