North Texas Daily

Men’s golf transfer returns home for final season with hopes of conference title

Men’s golf transfer returns home for final season with hopes of conference title

Men’s golf transfer returns home for final season with hopes of conference title
October 23
17:17 2020

Senior golfer Sean Wilcox is a graduate transfer from the University of Tennessee. He is one of three new players for the North Texas men’s golf team this year along with Argentinian freshmen Diego Prone and Vicente Marzilio. Wilcox grew up about 30 minutes from Denton in Frisco, Texas, and made a homecoming of sorts in choosing North Texas to finish his collegiate golf career.

After completing his high school career at Plano Prestonwood Christian Academy, highlighted by winning TAPPS individual and team state titles his junior year, Wilcox spent his first four years of college at Tennessee before graduating this May with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.

Upon graduating, Wilcox said he was faced with the choice of whether to go straight into the workforce or try to play professional golf. His desire to become a pro golfer motivated Wilcox to return home to the North Texas area. 

“I made the decision that I wanted to try to go pro,” Wilcox said. “I felt like this was the best way for me to do it, coming home, being around what I call my team: my coaches — like my swing coaches, my workout guys, my chiropractor — and my family. I felt like this was the best place to do it, especially where I feel comfortable, where I feel that I can grow my game and grow as a person even more.” 

Wilcox spent his first three seasons of college golf at Tennessee after redshirting his freshman year. He saw the most action in his first season at Tennessee, competing in 10 tournaments his redshirt freshman year before playing in three tournaments in each of the next two seasons. Wilcox said his biggest challenge at Tennessee was competing with his teammates to make the five-man tournament lineups, having 13 of them his second and third seasons. 

“Making the squad, that was the hardest thing to do [at Tennessee],” Wilcox said. “It was good to sometimes not make it because you knew you had to work on stuff, but you knew when you made it that you were on the best team you could get.”

Before the semester began, Wilcox was able to meet junior Robert Garcia, who grew up in Flower Mound, Texas — just 30 minutes from Wilcox’s home town in Frisco. Since they lived near each other over the summer, Garcia said the two were able to meet for a practice session at a golf course in Frisco. As a former transfer to North Texas himself from the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Garcia said he and Wilcox quickly bonded over their similar backgrounds. 

“[Sean and I] share a lot of similarities, so that was very easy to kickstart things,” Garcia said. “[He is] just a very welcoming person, very warm-hearted to where he’s definitely someone we can benefit having on the team. He’s a proper teammate is the way I’d put it.”

Wilcox said he sometimes felt like an international player at Tennessee being the only Texan on the team with most of the players being from Tennessee. He said he is grateful to now have a fellow Texan in Garcia, someone he was able to meet and become friends with before the semester began.

In coming to North Texas after spending four years at Tennessee, Wilcox said he feels “like a freshman” again and is grateful for how his teammates have embraced him, particularly senior Viktor Forslund and junior Lenny Bergsson.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for how [the team] welcomed me and the other freshmen,” Wilcox said. “I feel kind of just like a freshman, like the ones who came in as freshmen now. […] But the guys have been great, I can’t thank them enough for an easy transition. Especially the leaders like Viktor and Lenny […] they’ve been so good to me, and I’m glad to be on the team with guys that care about people no matter where they’ve been or who they are.”

Men’s golf head coach Brad Stracke said he’s been impressed by Wilcox’s work ethic since being around him this semester.

“You never know what kind of work ethic you’re gonna get when a player comes on board,” Stracke said. “[Sean’s] work ethic is top-notch. He’s always out there practicing, working on getting better. […] He’s definitely 100 percent all the time and, in that way, kind of the perfect player for your team, having that guy that works hard and pushes other people.”

Wilcox said his main goals for this upcoming season are to be the best player he can individually and help the team win a conference championship.

“Obviously, you know, everybody says they want to win a conference championship and win an NCAA championship,” Wilcox said. “But honestly, with the team I see that we’ve got […] there’s nothing standing in our way that we can’t do that, other than ourselves. And I know that we hear that a lot from coaches, but if we have days that we go and play golf like I know we can, we can do that.”

Featured Image: Redshirt senior transfer Sean Wilcox practices his driver during practice. The team is preparing for the Maridoe Intercollegiate Tournament on Oct. 18-20. Image by Zach Del Bello

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John Fields

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