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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Consistency in the swing

    Travis Esway
    Travis Esway

    Sophomore golfer Travis Esway is on the cusp of greatness. After having an impressive final round at the National Invitational Tournament and helping his team win the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, Esway’s confidence level should be sky-high going into the end of the season.

    “”I just have a feeling,”” said assistant coach John Knauer of Esway’s chances to break out for the squad.

    Knauer described Esway as a methodical player who goes about his business. It’s that kind of consistency that keeps Esway in tournament play with the team week after week.

    As a freshman, Esway won the first college tournament he ever played in, shooting a 12-under-par in last season’s Ron Moore Invitational. Knauer said that Esway has learned how to play the game even better since then.

    “”We didn’t know what to expect of him,”” said junior golfer Henry Liaw of Esway. “”We didn’t know how quickly he would develop.””

    Esway started playing golf at an early age, following in the footsteps of his brothers Allan and Ryan, who both played collegiate golf at UC-Santa Barbara. Since the age of 6, Esway has had more than 50 first-place trophies to his name and has finished second, third and fifth at the Junior World Championships.

    “”I have to do my job and play well,”” Esway said. “”I have a responsibility to the team.””

    Although golf is an individual sport, Esway said that when you are playing for the team, you have to grind it out for yourself because the team is counting on you.

    Esway said that he does not believe that the team has reached its potential this season. He still believes in his team though, saying the team will be able to pull out a good showing for the Pacific 10 Conference Championships and has as good a chance as anyone to win the NCAA Tournament.

    “”We have a pretty good chemistry,”” he said. “”If we all have to come through at the same time, it’s much easier.””

    Liaw said Esway is solid at this point and brimming with confidence.

    Knauer said having a player in the hunt for the title throughout the season has given the team a good chance to win that particular tournament. In the tournaments when the Wildcats don’t have a contender, it has been a struggle.

    The Wildcats are going to use their win at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational as a springboard for the Pac-10s.

    “”My goal individually is to win Pac-10s,”” Esway said.

    Esway is all about getting fired up, saying he uses the PGA Tour’s Masters Tournament to get inspired for the last part of the season.

    Sometimes in golf, you have to take a step back to take a step forward.

    – Travis Esway, sophomore golfer

    Esway realizes that there is always room for improvement in his game and said he plays for the challenge of it.

    “”You can always improve in certain areas. It keeps you interested,”” he said.

    What frustrates him is that results can be slow to appear.

    “”Sometimes in golf, you have to take a step back to take a step forward,”” he said. “”You don’t always see results right away. You have to learn how to play smart and know when you can or can’t take risks.””

    Esway describes his playing style as being one of the shorter hitters on the team, with chipping and putting that saves him. He is always trying to hone in on his putting craft.

    “”Money is made in golf on the putting green,”” he said. “”Better putting, better chance.””

    Now Esway has to putt it out for the rest of the season. He said that even if he plays poorly he does not try to change his style.

    “”I try to keep the same rhythm, try to keep the same routine,”” Esway said.

    His method is not madness, he said; it’s that consistency that keeps him successful. Esway is inspired by PGA player David Toms, to whom he compared his playing style.

    It’s not all strain and strife on the course, though, as Liaw said that Esway is a good guy to have around the team because of his humorous nature.

    The long golf season is now quickly coming to a close, with the Pac-10s less than a week away, and Esway will just have to see if his bread-and-butter chipping and putting will serve him through the rest of the season.

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