Cyclones Prepare For NCAA Regionals
AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State men's golf team is back in the postseason for the first time since 1999, and freshman Scott Fernandez is a big part of the Cyclones' resurgence.
A native of Granada, Spain, the rookie Spaniard has produced one of the finest freshman seasons in the history Cyclone golf. Fernandez is second on the team in stroke average at 72.97, on par to shatter the current rookie scoring mark. He's also tallied six top-10 finishes and won the VCU Shootout in the fall, becoming the first Cyclone rookie to win a tournament since 2002.
Fernandez learned a lot from senior Nate McCoy, who was a top-10 finisher seven times and an All-Big 12 First-Team selection, in his rookie season. The duo will help lead the Cyclones into the NCAA Bowling Green Regional, May 17-19 at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky.
Cyclones.com interviewed Fernandez before the team travels to Kentucky.
Have you enjoyed your first year in college golf?
"It's been a great experience for me. It has been really different than what I had been used to in Spain. We never played 36 holes in a day. It changes your frame of mind and you have to be mentally tough. That was one of the first things I had to adjust to when I got here."
What are some of the main differences in the courses between the United States and Spain?
"The fairways and bunkers aren't much different, but in Spain the courses have more tricky shots. Also, the pin positions in the college tournaments are really tight. It took me awhile to get used to that. I have been so used to going after every pin, but you have to change your frame of mind sometimes because of where the pins are set. Coach Tank has helped me out a lot with that."
Junior Borja Virto is also from Spain. How much has that helped you in your transition?
"He's been there for me as someone to talk to. He's a guy you could talk to if I had any problems. He's helped me out and given me advice from his experience. We were teammates on the Spanish team and he is one of my best mates."
What were you feelings after winning your first tournament at the VCU Shootout in the fall?
"It was so exciting for me to win a college tournament. It was amazing and I am hoping I can win more in the next three years."
How excited are you to be playing in the NCAA postseason?
"I feel proud to help this team get back into regionals after 13 years. It's been an amazing season for us and we are hoping to play well and make it to nationals. There is an extra amount of motivation compared to the other tournaments. We just need to go out there and do our jobs and try to stay focused."
How influential has it been for you to have a player like Nate McCoy as your teammate?
"He has been wonderful. He is the ideal college player. I told his father (Mike McCoy) that it has been amazing for me to have him teach me. He has been a great teammate and he's been the guy who has organized the team and settled us down if we needed it. The way he plays, I have learned a lot. He really does know how to play college tournaments and he knows what he is capable of doing."
You can follow the live scoring of the NCAA Bowling Green Regional on Golfstat.