Trevor Simsby shot 69 in the final round of the San Diego Intercollegiate to help the Huskies solidify a win in their second spring tournament.
Feb. 23, 2012
Sophomore golfer Trevor Simsby (Carlsbad, Calif.) has taken his game to a new level and has emerged as a stalwart in the Huskies lineup. Competing with two of the worlds top amateurs in Chris Williams and Cheng-Tsung Pan, it is easy to overlook the play of the others on the team, but Simsby was arguably the hero of the spring opener in San Diego a week ago. Simsby shot a team-best 69 in the final round of the San Diego Intercollegiate to help Washington win the tournament. He was seventh among individuals -- an impressive finish that numerous family and friends witnessed outside of his hometown. The sociology major recently chatted with GoHuskies.com about the keys to his progress.
GoHuskies.com: What did it mean to you to contribute so much to the success of the team in victory at the San Diego Tournament?
Trevor Simsby: I'm playing well and It felt really good to play well back home. I had my dad there watching me pretty much the whole tournament. I was struggling on the last day and he kind of kicked me back into gear and I ended up going six under over my last 12 holes in the last round to help us out quite a bit. That was definitely a huge advantage to have my family there.
GH.com: Was he your main coach growing up?
TS: He introduced me to the game. He was always my mental coach out there on the course. I think he's naturally pretty confident and knowledgeable guy. He's done a lot of public speaking. He knows me as a person and as a golfer so he knows how to put me in a good frame of mind. He's a network marketer. And I have an instructor back home, Chris Mason, who couldn't make it out to the tournament. He's helped me, just with my mechanics and the physical side of it. He's definitely helped me.
GH.com: When you and your dad play golf, how many strokes do you give him?
Right now it's probably about 10 to 12. He used to be alright. He used to be like a six handicap.
GH.com: What's clicked for you this year?
TS: I've set some specific goals. I have it in my goal sheet of winning the Pac-12's since December. I've kind of nailed it down. It's something I read every day. And definitely make a really solid showing at Riviera for nationals (Riviera CC in Los Angeles hosts the 2011 NCAA Championship). I'm really excited about that. We're going there this Saturday to play a practice round. From what I've seen on TV, I think it would be awesome to win as a team there and have all of our fans out there.
GH.com: What's it like to be on a team with two top-10 amateur players?
TS: It's definitely pushed me to get better. Last year I was kind of going through the motions a little bit, not really sure if I wanted to pursue golf after college. I wasn't playing too well. I didn't have enough belief in myself. And over summer I worked pretty hard and played in the U.S. Amateur which is nice. Then in the fall, I just really buckled down. I'm really working hard in the spring, going to gym most mornings and trying to improve as much as I can both on and off the golf course.
GH.com: How important was that 65 at the Battle of the Beach last year in helping build your confidence?
TS: It wasn't a shock, but it was good for me to have that to look back on and know that I could do that again this last tournament, being able to come back from struggling early and being able to buckle down and put that aside and have a really solid last few holes. It's just confidence boosting when you feel like you're back at home. And you need to have something to look back to know you can pull through.
GH.com: What do you need to do to turn that corner and get your first college victory?
TS: I think I just need to do what I have been doing and honestly, I'm feeling more comfortable each tournament when I'm in that situation. I didn't know I was leading early (at the Battle of the Beach). I was a couple under, but I didn't know that at the time. It was a tough course. It was 36 holes. I knew I was playing well. I think the most important thing is just to get reps in that situation, just put yourself there. There's no real secret or anything, I think you just need to understand that you're good enough to get there so you just got to keep trucking and eventually it will happen. Things will unfold if I keep working hard. And I'll win.
GH.com: What drew you up to Seattle for college?
TS: Coach Thurmond has something about him. He's a humorous, driven guy who just has a really good balance. He's very charismatic but he knows when to have fun. He knows when to push us. He's very knowledgeable about everything in the world. We can call him if we have any problems with girlfriends or personal things. He's there for us. He's more of a friend and a buddy on the team than an actual coach. He can be in the role of a coach-which is great- but he can also be one of us. When we're at the golf course, whether it's playing monopoly or (other games). It's really good to have him there. He definitely drew me to Washington. I came up there with my mom to visit when I was younger. I wasn't thinking about golf at the time, I was around eleven or twelve. And I just loved Seattle. I fell in love with the downtown. I just really enjoyed it up here. Going to school here is awesome. I think we play one of the best schedules in college golf with the trips we go on.
GH.com: What's going on in your head when you're on the golf course ?
TS: When you're hitting the shots, you're really into it and you're really focused. In between shots I try to take myself away and think about other things and relax. Obviously, when you're under pressure you're thinking about what's happening, the variables and wind and all that. But I try to take myself away from that as much as possible.