The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

73° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Golfer wants to be a winner

    Nathan Tyler
    Nathan Tyler

    teeing off

    There is a type of competitor who always wants to win and will accept nothing less.

    Redshirt junior golfer Nathan Tyler is one of these people.

    He is a competitor who refuses to accept defeat and said that he doesn’t feel he has had a good season until he has a win. This is the attitude of an athlete who said that he wasn’t even sure he would make it to college.

    “”He has a heart and a desire; he always has an attitude to win,”” said Arizona assistant coach John Knauer.

    Tyler almost escaped the Wildcats’ golf program. The Tucson native said that when he was in community college, he thought he was unable to get a class, so he packed up all his things and moved to Texas to work on his game and perhaps turn pro.

    Tyler said he checked the Internet only to see that he was able to get the class and packed back up to move back to Tucson, moving there and back in less than a week.

    “”I always felt I was meant to play golf,”” Tyler said. “”No matter what I do, I just keep getting shoved back into it.””

    Since then, he was made a Wildcat and has been an important addition to the team.

    “”He has really grown and matured,”” Knauer said. “”Basically he has matured in every aspect. You can see a big difference.””

    Tyler said he believes that he has gotten a lot smarter and more

    mature since he arrived at Arizona.

    “”I have been able to work through a lot of hard times, golf-wise and personally,”” Tyler said. “”I went through a lot of hard times in the beginning.””

    Tyler said his biggest demon is trying to control his mental game on the golf course.

    “”My mental aspect of my game is where I have the most room for improvement, but it’s also where I’m the strongest,”” Tyler said.

    In the John Burns Intercollegiate Feb. 22-24 in Hawaii, Tyler said that he would have been able to do better than his tie for 18th place if his frustration had not gotten the best of him. He lost the battle with his emotions as his team and his name began to slide down the leaderboard on the final day of competition.

    He said that he thought of something his dad says: “”Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”” The old quote, made famous by President Teddy Roosevelt, means to him that he should lead with actions, not words.

    That Tyler did, as his finish in the John Burns tied him with Wildcat teammate junior Henry Liaw for the top Arizona finisher.

    Tyler said he feels that his team members need some sort of push to get them to realize their full potential, which he is not seeing right now.

    “”I think every individual needs to be a leader in his own way, start trying to step in and correct some of the things that are wrong, to verbalize it and lead by actions,”” Tyler said.

    The problem that belies him, Tyler said, is that it is difficult to tell someone what to do who has been playing his whole life.

    Tyler said he still believes in his team and thinks that if everything can fall into place, the team could contend for the national championship. Tyler said he thinks that individual agendas stand in the way of team camaraderie.

    “”I want everyone to know that the team I’m on right now can still win a national championship,”” Tyler said. “”We just need to pull it all together.””

    With just one year remaining after this season in his career at Arizona, Tyler said he already knows the legacy that he wants to leave.

    “”I want to be considered the best player ever to come out of Arizona, not only as an individual bust as a team player,”” he said. “”I want to be looked as someone who turned something not so great into something better.””

    Tyler said he hopes to turn pro and accomplish much more, but he hopes he will always be able to keep things in perspective, no matter what he is able to accomplish.

    As for now, he is happy with what he considers his greatest accomplishment: getting out of his own way.

    “”I learned the things that I should be learning and not let myself get in the way,”” Tyler said. “”There are always things you are wrong about.””

    He said he is learning to work through his frustration and focus on winning, which is the one topic on which his opinion will never waiver.

    “”I’m always frustrated by not winning; I’m frustrated a lot because I haven’t won yet,”” Tyler said. “”I try to look for the positive.””

    Tyler may well be on the way to relieving his frustrations.

    “”I’ve seen him improve since the first tourney this year,”” Knauer said. “”He keeps getting a little better.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search