Sac golfer hopes for PGA card

Victor Nieto

It was a frigid and wet March day in Diablo, Calif. The air was dampened by sporadic showers and scenery was cluttered with numerous collegiate golfers. The odds were against the then-sophomore from Sacramento State, Scott DeBorba, as he entered the final round of the Diablo Grande Intercollegiate Golf Tourney four strokes behind the leaders.

However, for DeBorba, coming from behind to win a big tournament is something that he has done before, and as he did on route to winning the Sacramento Delta League MVP award during his senior year of high school, DeBorba was able to pull out the victory – while shooting a four under 68 in the process.

“I consider it my greatest accomplishment in golf,” DeBorba said about his first victory as a Hornet in the Diablo Grande event. “It really opened my eyes and made me go ‘wow, if I can win this tournament maybe I can win another.’ One of my biggest goals is to win another tournament this year.”

Since that day in March of 2007, DeBorba has yet to win another tournament, but his solid play has helped lead the Hornets during the first two tournaments in the 2007-08 season, finishing second on the team in the first tournament and first in the last tournament in Utah.

“We have a really good nucleus of players with Scott being one that leads by example with his play,” said David Sutherland, the first year men’s and woman’s golf coach. “His drives are really accurate and his play is really consistent.”

DeBorba credits much of his success to his parents who’ve always supported him with his passion as well as his ability to take in everything that comes his way.

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned in college is to listen to everything that goes in between your ears,” DeBorba said in an earnest voice. “You have to be focused out there and play with a cold head upon your shoulders, or else you go out there with a hot-head and try to do something that you’re not capable of doing.”

DeBorba grew up in Rancho Murieta, a small community outside Sacramento that is home to two full 18-hole golf courses. So naturally as a youth, he gravitated to the sport.

“I didn’t even start playing golf until I was around 13,” DeBorba said. “Before that, I played baseball and soccer, but I eventually got into golf because of my dad.”

As a youth, DeBorba said he used to watch the golf swing of his right-handed father and mimic it in his left-handed stance, and eventually made it a routine thing to get out there on the golf links.

“The first time I realized that I wanted to pursue golf was when I broke 100 (par 72) a few months after I started playing,” DeBorba said. “I was using a junior set and all I had was a driver slash 3-wood, a five and seven iron, a sand wedge and a putter.”

DeBorba then went on to play for Sheldon High School where he entered the school at “five-foot nothing” with raw skills and left with a polished and accurate game near his current height at around 6’3”.

After a brief stint at San Jose State University, DeBorba returned to Sacramento and eventually enrolled at Sac State.

Aside from working at the golf pro shop in Rancho Murieta, test driving his recently lifted 4 x 4 truck and diligently working on putting himself in better position to earn a PGA Players Card, DeBorba is working hard on his criminal justice major and hopes to become a federal agent. That is, if golf doesn’t work out first.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve always had an interest with law enforcement. My dad was a cop and I have been around many other people that have served in the FBI and secret service and they have told me some interesting stuff,” he said.

Admittingly, DeBorba said he has some weak spots in his game such as his bunker play, but he intends on ironing that part out or just avoiding it completely – which he has done a pretty fair job at by hitting the fairway 72 percent of the time.

As of now, DeBorba intends on working toward the goal of winning another tournament, helping his Hornets golf team climb up the ranks in the Big West, and learning as much as he can from coach Sutherland.

The next club tournament will be at the Bill Cullum Invitational in Semi Valley, Calif. from Monday to Tuesday.

Contact Victor Nieto at [email protected]