The Texas Golf Association interviewed James Sacheck shortly after winning the 100th Texas State Amateur.
The Woodlands’ James Sacheck, a 23-year-old recent graduate of TCU, probably experienced a severe case of motion sickness on his way to winning the 100th Texas Amateur, held June 25-28 at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, given the extreme roller coaster ride he was strapped into. After opening with a solid 1-under 70 he went absurdly low in the second round, posting a 7-under 64 to establish a new course record and take a 5-shot at the halfway mark. A disastrous 78 on Saturday, however, toppled him from first to tied for seventh, a whopping six back going into the final round. Undaunted (well, perhaps a little daunted), he shook off Saturday’s demons and closed with a superb 67 to finish at 279, a thrilling one-shot victory over Johnathan Schnitzer of Houston and Bronson Burgoon, also of The Woodlands.
[Q] Tell us a little about yourself.
[A] I was born in South Bend, Indiana. I lived there until I was 11 and then my family moved to Indianapolis, which is where we lived until I was 21. From there my dad was transferred to Houston and we live in The Woodlands.
[Q] Who introduced you to golf and where did you play growing up?
[A] My dad introduced me to the game at the tender age of two. I grew up playing Wolf Run and Crooked Stick Golf Clubs.
[Q] How does it feel to be the 2009 Texas Amateur Champion?
[A] It’s an incredible feeling. Everything that I’ve gone through in the last 5 years to battle back and surpass where I was is very gratifying.
[Q] This was your first time to play in the Texas Amateur. Is there a reason why you never entered before?
[A] I was never eligible before; we’ve only lived in Texas for two years.
[Q] What did you think about Miramont? Is it what you expected?
[A] I really didn’t know much about Miramont. I heard from friends that it was a good golf course, but didn’t hear much more than that. Needless to say it surpassed all of my expectations. It’s a beautiful place.
[Q] How about that course record on Friday?
[A] That’s a new one for me. I have a lot of low rounds but no course records prior to this one. Hopefully it’s the first of many.
[Q] Was Friday the major turning point?
[A] The major turning point for me came during Saturday’s round, actually. I was on No. 17 and had just come off a bunch of bogeys and needed something to go my way. I hit a poor chip to about 8 feet and then hit a putt that really didn’t deserve to go in but somehow it found the bottom of the cup. I didn’t come close to making a bogey the rest of the tournament.
[Q] Can you explain what happened on Saturday?
[A] I was caught between clubs all day long. Normally when I’m stuck between clubs I hit the extra club and try to take something off of it. For whatever reason that day it just wasn’t working out for me. Every time I tried that approach not only would I hit it too far, but also I would hit it further than I normally did. I thought it was nerves, but I was definitely more nervous on Sunday and I was hitting it the right distance then. So I guess it was just one of those days.
[Q] How did you mentally and physically pull yourself together after Saturdays round?
[A] Well after Saturday’s round I knew I’d need a great round Sunday to have a chance. I wouldn’t have any room for mistakes, but yet I needed to be aggressive. So, I tried to stay in the moment and really execute each shot as well as I possibly could. It seemed less daunting when all I was trying to do was hit the shot that was in front of me.
Q] Was there a key shot on Sunday that really got your momentum going?
[A] The shot that got things going was my drive on No. 2. It’s a drivable par 4 that was playing into the wind so I needed to hit a really good drive. When I hit it I knew it had plenty of carry I was just hoping it was the right distance. It landed about 12 feet from the hole and just barely rolled over. It got my round started off on the right foot.
[Q] Did you have a friendly wager with your TCU teammate Travis Woolf on who would have the best finish? Or with any of your TCU teammates who were in the field?
[A] No bets this week.
[Q] What is your plan now that you’ve graduated? Golf? Business world?
[A] I plan on turning pro and going to the PGA Tour qualifying school this fall.
[Q] What was your least favorite class at TCU? Favorite?
[A] My least favorite class had to be religion class; it was the worst class ever. The best had to have been Human Sexuality.
[Q] What is your all time favorite movie?
[A] The Rock with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery.
[Q] What is your favorite golf course you have played this far?
[A] Victoria National in Evansville, Indiana.
[Q] What do you usually find yourself doing when you aren’t playing golf?
[A] Watching movies.
[Q] Where is one place you would like to eventually visit?
[A] Venice, Italy.
[Q] Other than the Frogs, do you have any other favorite sports teams?
[A] I love the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. My dad graduated from there and I’ve been a fan since I was born. The Indianapolis Colts are also a favorite of mine.
[Q] Where would you recommend people go see or do while they are visiting Ft. Worth?
[A] You have to go to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop; it’s the best chips and queso ever!