Golfers Gone Wild
Xavier’s golf program has garnered national attention in the last few years with the success of two of its graduates. Jason Kokrak won five college tournaments for Xavier and qualified for the U.S. Open as a 22-year-old in 2007.
After finishing his communication arts degree in 2008 he joined the eGolf Professional Tour, where he worked his way to the position of leading money winner. He then graduated to the Nationwide Tour. Last year in the Nationwide he was the 4th money leader ($338,092) and the Tour’s longest hitter, with a punishing 318.6-yard average drive.
At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Kokrak is known for his authority on the range. But his short game isn’t bad either, and two wins within five weeks at the end of the 2011 Nationwide season clinched Kokrak a berth on the 2012 PGA Tour. He opened his rookie season with a 75th place finish (and a memorable 362-yard drive) at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Then, in February, he battled to a 9th place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, ahead of Tiger Woods. He’s earned $217,528 so far this year.
Also, Andy Pope, a 2006 communication arts major, is playing on the Nationwide Tour. He recently finished 28th at the Chile Classic Presented by Pacific Rubiales.
And those two may soon be joined by another Musketeer on the professional circuit, Sebastian MacLean, a senior who recently won his fourth college tournament at Myrtle Beach. MacLean is Bolivian, a fifth-generation descendent of a Scottish sea captain who sailed to Peru in the mid-1800s, met a wife and never went home. MacLean seems to have retained his ancestral predilection for the sport, and he plans to enter the PGA Latin America Tour this year, where he will try to play his way into the Nationwide and eventually the PGA Tour. That’s not MacLean’s only goal, though. He’s also aiming to represent Bolivia at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.