The NCAA regionals get underway today, and all I can say is, “Let the drama begin!” We all know there will be upsets, disappointments, and surprises, but the question is from who?
Today on Wildman’s Corner I caught up with a player that was a vital part of the Wichita State men’s golf program: Ryan Spears.
What have you been up to since college, how has your transition to pro life gone?
After college I took a year off of golf to finish school, after my eligibility was up I took a year to finish school. I went up to Crestview where they held the Nationwide, got my investors through there, and qualified for the U.S. Open at Bethpage in ’09 which was my first professional start. I was able to get my feet wet, and since then playing in some Hooters, Tight Lies, and Monday’d in some Nationwide events over the last couple of years and been able to get my feet wet. It’s been a lot tougher then I thought out here, and these guys are a lot better then I thought they would be out here. I have learned you have to work harder every week, and that’ll hopefully propel to the top eventually.
You look a bit slimmer since your college days, been working out?
I have a trainer back at home- its a lot of core training, a lot of running, and a lot of abs. I am trying to stay away from the weights, but if I do use them then it’s a lot of light with plenty of reps to keep the blood flowing. It’s working out but I want to lose about 20 more pounds. Hopefully, my swing doesn’t get too out of whack from the weight I have lost. I struggled in college when I lost a lot of weight.
A lot of running huh? Trying to be a marathon runner?
Ha-ha, no! I do sprints off weeks and when I am on I do two to three miles a day. I feel great, but wish my golf swing would feel as good as I do.
What was your favorite moment about being a Shocker at Wichita State?
I would say it would have to be Conference at Prairie Dunes in ’06 when I made a 30 footer on the last hole to win it for the team. I had already wrapped up the medalist honors, so it was kind of my high top of college in my time there.
What’s that one shot that haunts you from your college days? If I gave you a re-do, where you taking it at?
That’s a tough question. There’s a couple tournaments I was at that I screwed up a few shots at. One tournament imparticular would be back at regionals my freshman year. I had a five foot putt my freshman year to take us to nationals and I missed it in a playoff. Since we had never gotten to nationals, and that was the closest we had ever come that is the shot I wish I could go back and take again. That was in 2005.
Any regrets from college? Wish you did anything differently?
No, not really. I learned a lot from Grier Jones and the best part of all was I got an education. Coach Jones was really helpful towards me with school and my golf game. There were a couple of years I struggled, and he was able to help me mature and better myself for my last two years there. I don’t have any regrets, but do want to thank coach for the help he gave me over the years.