LAKE FOREST, Ill. – While looking over the entry list for this year’s Western Amateur at Conway Farms Golf Club, one name jumped out at me – Scott Rowe.
Could this be the same Scott Rowe who was a two-time All-American at Northwestern back in the late 1990s, I wondered?
Lo and behold, it was. And, ironically, the last time I saw him was when he finished up his collegiate career at the 1997 NCAA Championship at this same Conway Farms course.
Time for some catching up, which the two of us did prior to his second round.
Now 34, Rowe and his wife Ashley have been married for 10 years and have a 5-year-old son, Aiden, who is already being groomed to play golf.
He’s traveled the world playing golf professionally, earned his Masters degree, held a number of jobs, and is currently back living in the Chicago area, playing amateur golf again.
“I’m just trying to get more competitive,” Rowe said. “I’ve accumulated a good group of tournaments, mostly mid-am stuff like the Crump Cup and Coleman Invitational. I’ll probably try to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur this year. So far, it’s been fun.”
After his stint at Northwestern, where he was a first-team All-American in 1995 and second-team in 1997, Rowe played the Asian and Canadian tours for a couple years.
He made it through the European PGA Tour Q-School (tying for 22nd) and earned his playing card for the 2000 season. Although he played well enough to keep his card, he decided it was time to change gears.
Rowe stopped playing in October of 2000, returned to the U.S., and got a job with a financial company in Little Rock, Ark. He regained his amateur status in June 2004. He moved back to Chicago in July 2005, got a job with Morgan Stanley and earned his MBA at the University of Chicago in August.
Most recently he worked for a private equity firm Lake Capital, but “unfortunately in these economic times, I got laid off,” he said. “Now, I’m actively looking for a job.”
He would love to find something where he can combine his financial working knowledge with his golfing ability.
“I still have a great passion for golf,” Rowe said. “What I’m trying to do is find where I can put golf value in business. I have to believe there is something out there somewhere, even in these times, where I can do that. But right now my top priority is getting the job thing sorted out.”
For a number of years, Rowe has been a member of Butler National Golf Club, but is currently in the process of joining Conway Farms. In the past three weeks he’s been working on his game with Jeff Mory, director of golf at Conway and his coach at Northwestern for three years.
“Jeff is great and a wonderful instructor,” Rowe said. “I’m looking forward to working with him and spending a lot of time out here at Conway Farms. It’s my favorite course. It’s a great place, too, to get my son started.”
Like so many others in these days, Rowe is going through a tough time within the job market. But he has a family that he loves who supports him to the fullest. And, he still has a passion for golf and a burning desire to be as competitive and successful.
In 1997, I felt Rowe had a bright future in professional golf. I still think he has a bright future awaiting him, only now on the amateur side of the game.
And I, for one, would not be surprised to see the name Scott Rowe appearing more frequently within the top tier of amateur golf in the future.