SE: K-State Sports Extra Q&A: Kyle Weldon
Every month, a new student-athlete is featured through the K-State Sports Extra Q&A. This month, K-State Sports Extra sat down with men’s golf senior Kyle Weldon of Des Peres, Missouri.
The lone senior on this year’s squad, Weldon is recording a 73.23 stroke average this season and has recorded two top-20 individual finishes. Weldon’s best finish this year came at the Rod Myers Invitational in Durham, North Carolina, where he shot 2-under par 214 and finished in fifth place.
Here’s a look at what he had to say:
Sports Extra: How long have you been playing golf and when did you realize you wanted to play collegiately?
Kyle Weldon: I’ve been playing competitive golf for about 13 years, since I was about 10 or 11 years old. I was a big soccer player growing up, but once I hit about seventh or eighth grade, I made the switch from soccer to golf, and that’s when I decided I wanted to play golf collegiately.
SE: Do you have a round that stands out as your most memorable?
KW: I’ve had some good rounds, but the best round I ever had, the one that sticks out to me the most, was in 2012 when I shot a 68 in the final round of a big tournament in St. Louis to win the tournament by three shots. That was a really fun one. Then the other one that sticks out is a course record that I shot at Greenbriar Hills in St. Louis. I shot a 62 – that was a really fun one.
SE: Have you ever made a hole-in-one?
KW: I’ve had three! I had one in a match play event at a Missouri Amateur back in 2013 and my teammate Matt Green was caddying for me. Then I have two on the par 3 course out here (at Colbert Hills). I had one on the eighth hole and one on the ninth hole. Some people might not count those, but I do!
SE: What is the emotion like when you sink a hole-in-one?
KW: After you see it go in, it’s just kind of like a flurry of emotion right away. You get really excited. Whoever you’re with just kind of jumps around, you high five, then do some celebrating after.
SE: So when you’re not on the course hitting hole-in-ones, what can people find you doing?
KW: Well, the past few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of schoolwork. As a civil engineering major, I’ve spent a lot of time in the library. I like spending time with my friends, my girlfriend, I like playing video games; the normal stuff college kids do.
SE: Is it hard to juggle studying engineering and being a student-athlete at the same time?
KW: Oh yeah, it’s really tough, but I’ve had a lot of really good friends that I’ve met in my classes and my teachers have helped me out a lot. They’ve all really helped get me through it.
SE: Are you graduating in May?
KW: I am. I don’t have cement plans yet, but I’m planning on turning professional. I’m going to give that a shot for a while and see where that takes me. If that doesn’t work out, I have my engineering degree to fall back on and I’ll find a job somewhere.
SE: How would you describe yourself as a golfer?
KW: I’d say I’m kind of gritty. I don’t have the best golf swing in the world, but I still manage to get it around. I really pride myself on my short game, my chipping and putting. I work really, really hard on that.
SE: Have you enjoyed being the only senior on this year’s team?
KW: It’s been really fun. When I came in, I was the only freshman, so that was kind of different. At times I felt a little bit of an outcast, so now I’ve really tried to connect with the younger guys and be a leader. I’ve tried to be that role model that I didn’t have when I first came in. It’s been a lot of fun. I love seeing the younger guys grow, and I’m excited for the future of this team. The next two or three years they’ll have some really, really good players and I think it’s going to take this program to higher levels.
SE: Is this team a pretty tight-knit group?
KW: We’re really close. We spend a lot of time together barbecuing, bowling, things like that. We’ve definitely become a lot closer this year than in past years, and it’s been a lot of fun.
SE: You have a few more competitions left before the Big 12 Championship. What do you hope to get out of them?
KW: We have two tournaments before Big 12s, and they’re both tournaments that I think we can win as a team. I think that’s the goal, to get a team win in one of these last two or both tournaments because we haven’t had a win in two years now. So that’s the No. 1 goal. But for me, I want to close it out, have fun and enjoy it. I only have three college events left, and that Big 12 tournament is going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a whirlwind of emotions, that’s for sure.
SE: Finally, what is the best part about being a student-athlete here at K-State?
KW: It’s cliché – everyone says it – but the family atmosphere is real. You can feel it. It’s something that I didn’t feel at any other place but once I got here, the people are awesome. I’ve really, really grown as a person here and I’ve loved everything about K-State.
Next up for the Wildcat men’s golf team is a trip to West Point, Mississippi, where the Wildcats will compete in the Old Waverly Invitational April 4-5. Following that tournament, K-State will compete in the Hawkeye Intercollegiate in Iowa City, Iowa, before heading to the Big 12 Championship, April 29-30, at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. For more information on the K-State men’s golf team, please click here.