Texans senior Travis Vick set to kick off the two-week PGA Tour in Mayakoba

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Houston native Travis Vick, a University of Texas senior, had been dreaming of touring the PGA Tour event in his hometown, and this year, the message worked, as Vick was chosen to compete at the Cadence Bank Houston Open next week on the sponsor’s exemption. The event in Memorial Park was set to herald the start of Vic’s first non-main tour – he was a low-key amateur at the US Open last summer – but that was until Vick received some great news about a week and a half ago.

World Wide Technology is sponsoring this week’s tour stops at Mayakoba and Golf Channel’s East Lake Cup, a college tournament held in late October that Texas was competing in last week. So why not invite one of the best college players from the East Lake field to beat the Pros? Last year, Eugenio Chakara of Oklahoma State received this honor; This time it was Vic, who is currently ranked 10th in the world amateur golf rankings.

When Texas coach John Fields relayed a message from tournament director Joe Mazio, who was wondering if Vic would be interested in playing, you didn’t hesitate: “Yes, sure, I can make time to go to Mayakoba.”

Two-week tour: Mayakoba one week and Houston the next.

How big is this experience for the aspiring professional? It’s a 14 day trial membership with nothing but the upside. (However, you do need a credit card.)

“Being able to play back-to-back tournaments is really cool because it gives you a sense of what life is like on the tour for two weeks in a row,” Vick said. “What people may not understand is how stressful it really is, the travel involved, the expenses… the crunching; everyone here is in full grind.”

Including Vic, who hasn’t stopped since arriving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Sunday. He got six holes that afternoon at El Camaleon Golf Club, then a full 18 on Monday. On Tuesday, he played pro on a different track before heading back to the host stadium for nine comebacks.

The shifts from 7:30am to 7pm the past two days have left little time for you to think about the long task at hand: trying to eliminate the likes of Scotty Scheffler, Colin Morikawa and two-time champion Victor Tony Fino. Hovland and over a hundred other tour members hold cards.

But even when he’s looking down the driving range, he’s not afraid of you. He knows a few guys well, especially Schaeffler, who is a graduate of Longhorn University and a mentor in Vic. His finish in the T-43, the best among the amateurs, last June at Brookline boosted his confidence.

“The US Open has taken the wow factor away,” Vic said.

Vic sticks to the saying, “Good golf is good golf, no matter who swings it.” While the conditioning, hospitality, and field strength of a touring event are unparalleled, Vick’s university-wide experience is nothing to sneeze at. One could easily argue that some of the Texas theatrical layouts – Seminole, Passatembo, Prairie Dunes, Olympia Fields – are set up more rigorously than El Camaleon.

Only these professionals are different from college kids. “Day and night,” Vic says. “They don’t make mistakes.”


PGA Tour Power Rankings: Schaeffler on Top

PGA Tour Power Rankings: Schaeffler on Top

Vic’s amateur biography is great – he qualified in the amateur semifinals in the US last year; Western Amateur semi-finalists this year; He earned a Texas NCAA title deduction point last season; Number 1 ex-river in the country before college. But if there’s one thing he eats at, it’s that he hasn’t won much — or when it comes to college golf, at all.

“I am a firm believer that you need to be in control at every stage,” Vick said. “If you dominate college golf, you are ready for the professional level. … My goal is to win something.”

there is still time. Admittedly, Vick didn’t have the best of fall seasons, with only one finish in the top 10 and two appearances outside the top 30. Although if this spring is anything like last, when Vick was second in the Regionals among five other teams. -11 finishes, there can be a shift.

“I hope these two weeks will be a spark,” Vick said.

For those who didn’t see Vic hitting the golf ball, he’s a two-way player as he was on the high school football field. He’s an elite driver and puts it up well too. About the greens, however, he has some ground to make up.

“That was the biggest improvement,” Vic said of his short game. “Now, with that being said, when you start at the bottom, which is where my short game was, you only have one way to go and that’s the best.”

As Vic recounts, the bunker play was so bad in his freshman year of college that he’d be ecstatic just to find the green from the Greenside trap. And last season, he made a three-chip double in three different college leagues from tight and cool Bermuda.

“Awful,” Vic calls it. “Now I’m at a fairly acceptable level, not ready for the round, but average.”


Scores full field of technology world championships in Mayakoba


In a plot at El Camaleon where Hovland, the worst shooter of the tour, won twice, Vick wasn’t too concerned about the demands of the surrounding greens this week. He even knows that this Greg Norman design required higher accuracy from a tee, more than any other stop on the tour.

“And I didn’t hit him directly this fall,” Vic admits.

Hovland only hit two drivers during the final round at Mayakoba last fall, so Vic thinks he’ll use a lot of three woods and drive irons until he finds short grass and not mangroves. If that solves Vick’s recent dispersal issues, it’s a good trade-off to keep his greatest weapon in the bag.

And that could mean the difference between competing in you and getting two extra days to kill before the Houston Open.

“If I’m on the court, I’ll play well,” Vic predicts. “But if I’m in the mangroves and I tell my dad to go to my locker and grab more golf balls, this week will probably be early.”

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