As the lone senior on the 2004-05 Men's Golf team, Shaun Goodwin has aspirations of being a leader this season. He got off to a great start by shooting a three-under-par 69 in the first round of the Topy Cup in Tanagura, Japan. Goodwin, who played in seven tournaments last season after transferring from Sam Houston State, is looking to carry that momentum into the rest of the fall season and on to the spring.
Now, back States' side, Goodwin took a break from the practice green to speak with TexasSports.com about the season, the team and the trip to Japan.
Favorite Golfer: Ernie Els
Club used from 165 yards: nine iron
Best Course Ever Played: Pebble Beach
On this year's team: The team unity this year is awesome. Everyone gets along really well and it that is important if you want to play well as a team; just look at what happened at the Ryder Cup. The team has a lot of talent and everybody works hard, so I think it is going to be a good season. I have a lot of confidence in our guys and I think we should set our goals high.
On the trip to Japan: We were there for nine days. The people were so nice to us. I've never been outside of the country before, so I was really excited about the trip. The plane ride was long, about 15 hours, and the jet lag was hard to get used to but it was totally worth it. We spent two nights in Tokyo, so we got to see the electronic district, which was really cool, because they are so far ahead of us. We also took a ride on the bullet train, which was unbelievable. It goes about 180 mph and got us back to the course in about an hour and a half. It was a five-hour ride on the bus.
On any cultural differences on the golf course in Japan: There was one major difference while playing golf in Japan. We had to carry around bags of sand to fill in our divots. There is so little land for golf courses there that they have to take care of what they have. The course had employees that would be out fixing ball marks and divots as soon as we were finished playing. Aside from carrying the sand, it was basically just golf.
On head coach John Fields and assistant coach Steve Keasler: The coaches are very knowledgeable about the game. They make us feel good about ourselves, so we want to go out there and do our best. I truly believe they want the best for us, which makes it easy for us to go out to the course and work on our games, because we want to do a good job for them.
On qualifying: Qualifying is definitely tough. At first, I put so much pressure on myself that when it came time to play, I was drained. It's also tough because you are playing against your friends, but you realize what you have to do in order to be on the traveling squad. The most important thing is to go out there with confidence. I think if you believe you can play with the best, then that confidence can transfer on to the course.
On the freshmen: As the lone senior, I want to welcome the freshmen on to our team. I want to give them advice whenever they need it and basically just do what I can for them. They are all good players, but it is going to be tough for them. They need to prove to coach that they can play if they expect to compete in some tournaments this season.