Top-tier golfers dream of joining the PGA

State Hornet Staff

For most students, getting ready to graduate from college means one thing – finding a job.

But for Sacramento State senior golfer Jordan Weir, his aspirations of joining the PGA Tour have taken center stage.

In the three tournaments Weir has played this Spring, he has yet to finish outside the top-15. In the 2012-2013 season, Weir only had two top-15 finishes through 10 tournament appearances, one of which was a first place finish at the America Sky Championship in San Antonio.

Weir attributes David Sutherland, director of golf at Sac State, in helping to steer his future to professional golf. After being introduced, he learned of Sutherland’s background of playing on the PGA Tour and realized he would be a good mentor for him.

“I think [playing professional golf] has always been in the back of my mind, like that would be cool,” Weir said. “It was never really a serious thought.”

That mindset got all the more serious when Weir saw his friends, who he grew up playing with, enjoying success of playing professional golf. For Weir, he said he did not want to look back on what could have been, especially at the start of his career.

“You don’t want to look back when you are 40 or 45 years old with a family and go ‘what if,’” Weir said. “If i try it and it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out, but at least I tried it.”

Weir is not the only player on the team with grand aspirations of playing professionally. Junior Owen Taylor has recently began considering the jump, and after enjoying a very successful junior season, it is not out of the question.

Taylor is having an impressive year, placing outside of the top-15 only once, which came back in October. Taylor is currently ranked 68th in the country and his success has made his decision to turn professional a no-brainer.

“After last summer and the success I have had this year, it’s the only thing that is on my mind and it’s the only thing I want to do,” Taylor said.

Another thing both Taylor and Weir have in common is relationships with former teammates that are enjoying success playing professionally. Three teammates from the 2010 season, Jake Johnson, Cameron Rappleye and Grant Rappleye are all playing on mini-tours and have given advice to the pair.

“[Jake Johnson] was talking about how much pressure there is, just being able to prepare for it and knowing when to count yourself in,” Taylor said.

Coach Chris Hall has let his players know they have his support and if they put in the hard work, they can reap the rewards.

“I definitely encourage my guys to push as far as they can and try and go professionally, and don’t give any time of negative limelight,” Hall said. “My thing is, they come in here and they have four years to work on it and get better, so that way when they do leave they are ready to go.”

While playing professionally is their main focus, both Weir and Taylor have acknowledged what they would do if golf does not work out.

“I have always wanted to do something in the sports field,” Weir said. “I have always thought that sports bring people together and there are always a lot of opportunities to do some unique things.”

As for Taylor, he has given it some thought, but said he cannot imagine doing anything else, at least not anything that drives his passion the way that golf does.

“I would try to stay in the golf business, maybe a general manager at a country club,” Taylor said. “If I were to pick one job right now, and it had to be a desk job, it would probably be something dealing with real estate.”

With the help of Weir and Taylor, the team has turned golf into a winning sport and provided both players with experiences that will fuel their future endeavors. Weir said it is a strange feeling knowing his college career is almost over, but ready for his professional career to begin.

“It’s kind of scary that you are going out in the unknown,” Weir said. “You were a big fish in a smaller pond and now you are going to be a tiny fish in an ocean. It’s scary but exciting to see what happens and see how good you can get at it.”