After helping the Cowboys claim the top spot in college golf Austin Eckroat, says he’s felt like a mini celebrity of late.
Eckroat told me, he’s being recognized more often now, and that he’s posing for more pictures with people too.
Austin’s no stranger to success.
The teenager’s won four championships in five years when you include his days as a Huskie at Edmond North high school.
“We were the best team in the state, and we were expected to win,” Eckroat said. “It was the same thing for my freshman year of college. I went to the best team in the country for golf, and was expected to win. Being in that position all through high school it helped a lot in getting used to being the best team in the country.”
Once Austin arrived at OSU, he struggled to find his game for the first time in his life. But being the talent Eckroat is, he made his way into cowboys starters and was a standout for state on several occasions.
“I was always winning events, and feeling confident,” Eckroat said. “Then I kind of lost that for a little bit. It was different, but it was something that I needed to do and needed to go through. It was going to happen eventually, so it was good to get through it, and show myself I can do it.”
Eckroat elevated his game during the championship run. This chip pushed the Pokes to the national title match, where he helped the Cowboys clinch their eleventh national title, and sink a streak in the process.
“I saw someone say that, college golf is restored,” Eckroat said. “We won again. I didn’t really realize that it had been since 2006 since we won. A lot of the ’06 guys were out there watching us play. You could tell it meant a lot for them, and meant a lot for the program. It will be cool to see our names on the wall next year where we’ve been seeing everybody else’s name.”
The Cowboys came away with some critics after their title at Karsten Creek, but as austin put it, there’s a lot of expectations when you play your home course.
“The whole year we talked about it, no one wants us to win,” Eckroat said. “We’re the power house golf school everybody wants to beat us, and they’re looking for any excuse to say that we shouldn’t have won. It didn’t bother me at all. It didn’t really bother anyone on our team. We all felt like we’re the best team in the country. Even people that were saying that it was an advantage were still saying that we were the best team in the country, we should have won and it just made it easier on us, but I don’t agree.”
As for Austin’s individual aspirations, he’s enjoying his Cowboy career, but has his sights set on the next level too.
“I definitely want to play professional golf,” Eckroat said. “Everybody says they want to be the best, and obviously I want to be the best. I feel like I can do a lot of things, and see if I can do things I’m not even sure I can do. That would be a lot of fun to play professional golf, and win a lot of times.”
Nate Feken, News Four Sports.