Texas Lutheran senior Chance Cathey hits the links for one last conference tournament beginning today when the Bulldogs compete in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at Tapatio Springs in Boerne.
After ending his prep career with one team state title and a third-place individual finish in Gatesville, Cathey joined the Bulldogs and was a part of a team that finished third at the NCAA Division III tournament in 2011.
Cathey enjoyed a breakout year last season in which he was the Bulldogs’ top finisher five times. He has three top-three finishes this year.
Cathey talked with the Herald’s Albert Alvarado about his final tournament and season with the Bulldogs.
What’s the experience of golfing at TLU been like?
It’s been fun, I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a good experience and given me a chance to play on courses I wouldn’t normally get a chance to play.
Is there a score you’re looking to shoot at the SCAC Tournament?
I’ve never seen this course before so it usually comes down to what I see during the practice rounds. It gives me a sense of what I can shoot for that week. Also, the weather has a lot to do with it. We’ve had weather conditions that haven’t been favorable for golf this semester and this week it’s looking like we’re going to have some really good weather for conference.
Has this season felt different for you as a senior?
I’ve been trying to enjoy it. This being my last year, I’ve really been trying to enjoy it and kind of stay in the moment a little bit.
How big of a jump is it to go from UIL Class 3A golf to the NCAA Division III level?
When I first got here, I really had to work hard to make the team because we had two seniors that came in and both of them were going pro as soon as they finished their senior year. The other three or four guys I was competing against were pretty good. I had to be more consistent. In high school, I was able to be a little erratic and have a high round every once in awhile. Whenever I came here, I didn’t have that opportunity and I knew if I had a high round I wasn’t going to make it.
What’s your favorite memory of playing at Gatesville?
Winning state my junior year as a team. That was probably my fondest memory. It hadn’t been done in so long and it was with a group of guys that I really enjoyed playing with. It was an experience that no one could take away from us.
Did going to state a couple of times in high school prepare you for the collegiate level?
I think it definitely did. I realized when I looked back at my high school career that I always played better in the high-pressure situations. It never failed. If I wasn’t playing well at the beginning of the season, when it got around to district, regional and state, I started playing better in those situations. I definitely think that helped prepare me to play college golf.
Do you feel like you’re playing the best golf of your career?
Yes. Everything is starting to come together and I started putting well about a week and a half ago. I definitely feel like I’m playing some of my best golf ever and, from the mental side of it, I don’t think I’ve ever been as mentally strong.
What are your plans after this season?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since it’s getting so close, I’ve got one more semester of golf to go and as soon as I graduate I’m going to try to play professionally.