Sept. 8, 2009
This weeks Great Example is golfer Scott Lewis. A native of Henderson, Nev., Lewis has experienced a bright summer in the national spotlight, while competing in both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur Championships.
Ever sense receiving his acceptance letter from UCSB, Lewis was determined to make a place for himself on the Gaucho golf team. Entering his freshman year in 2008 with hopes of walking onto the team, he was one of 20 competing for just two spots. Lewis made the team and had solid showings in a pair of tournaments near the end of the season.
Early in the 2009 Lewis experienced success, yet inconsistency plagued the end of his sophomore season. Although he wasn't one of the players chosen by head coach Steve Lass to represent UCSB at the Big West Conference Championship, Lewis walked the course of San Luis Obispo Country Club to support his Gaucho teammates.
Despite Lewis's struggles during season he was able to bounce back in a big way. Lewis had the experience of a lifetime, qualifying for the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in New York in June.
"It was unbelievable," Lewis said. "Getting the opportunity to watch the professionals play from inside the ropes, have lunch with them, and even run into them in the elevator at the end of the day. It was like living in a week-long dream world. They respect the fact that you earned your spot. It was also amazing to be treated like one of them, for a few days at least."
Entering his junior year, as one of the Gauchos top golfers due to his elite tournament experiences, Lewis's goal for the season is "to develop consistency. I have a lot of skill that I can use to help my team, but my game goes through ups and downs. I'd like to contribute good scores more consistently by having my game in roughly the same place all year round."
Lewis took some time to answer some questions about himself.
1. What is your favorite aspect about going to UCSB?
My favorite aspect about attending UCSB is the people. The social environment at UCSB is truly one of a kind.
2. What are your aspirations after college?
After college I will attempt to turn professional. Should this not work out I would like to enter a career where I can help people by making a difference in their lives.
3. What do you most enjoy about golfing for the Gauchos?
I enjoy playing for Coach Steve Lass. He runs the program in such a way that I feel I am given the greatest opportunity to both compete and improve my game. In addition, the team he has put together is a great group of guys that I consider my friends and teammates.
4. Is there any motto that you live by?
I wouldn't call it a motto but I like to give everything I work on a complete effort and I always see it through. It's just the way I like to handle my life. Give it everything and never quit until its done.
5. What has been your greatest accomplishment while golfing here thus far?
My greatest accomplishment thus far in my golf career is qualifying to play in the 2009 US Open.
6. What is your favorite golf club to hit?
Putter. All the excitement happens on the green.
7. Do you have any pre-round rituals?
None. Standard warm-up.
8. Who is your biggest role model?
9. What moment will you always remember about competing in the U.S. Amateur tournament?
I will always remember making birdie on number 16. The longest and toughest par four on the course at over 500 yards. I hit a drive about 335 yards, and then followed it up with an 8 iron from 170 yards that finished about 3 feet from the hole.
10. What has been your favorite class at UCSB?
My favorite class at UCSB was Psychology 1. Professor Revlin taught the course. It was so easy to pay attention. I truly enjoyed going to lecture because he made it as entertaining as informative. A short time after the class I became a psychology major.
11. What is one thing about you most people don't know?
I'm really shy.
12. What has been your biggest challenge in your collegiate career?
Walking on to the UCSB golf team. There were 20 guys for 2 spots.
13. What do you like to do in your free time?
I play a lot of Xbox 360 and catch up on sleep in my free time.
14. If you could only pick one I.V restaurant to eat at, which one would you pick?
IV Deli Mart!
15. What is the most embarrassing moment in your golf career?
I once broke a club in my hands after a bad shot during a round that really didn't matter. It wasn't qualifying or a tournament. It was embarrassing because I didn't break it intentionally; I just meant to give it a little torque across the shaft. Oops!!
16. What did you learn while competing in the U.S. Open?
I learned many things at the US Open. The most valuable was that when you're in the deepest rough or a really desperate situation bogey is an excellent score.
17. Why did you ultimately choose to attend UCSB?
As a good student, I was initially interested in UCSB for their academic program. After learning that there was a possibility of continuing my golf career by walking on to the team, I decided UCSB was the school for me.