Zimbabwe's Vincent in top form for Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech junior Scott Vincent can’t say his recent stretch of stellar play isn’t a complete surprise.
“Absolutely, it’s a surprise,” said Vincent, who has opened the fall season with two individual victories. “But it’s a nice surprise.”
Vincent shared medalist honors at the season-opening Golfweek Conference Challenge in Burlington, Iowa. He tied a school record with a final-round 8-under 64 at Spirit Hollow Golf Course, going 7 under on his final six holes to wrap up his first collegiate individual title.
He then won his first outright individual crown a week later at the VCU Shootout, posting rounds of 69-68-69 for a 10-under 206 that was four shots better than teammate Bryce Chalkley.
“Golf is the kind of game where you go through stretches where you have good weeks and you have bad weeks,” Vincent said. “At the moment, I’ve found the right form . . . and playing good golf at the right time.”
Vincent credits his scrambling as a major reason for his success. It’s allowed him to go for more pins and not worry so much about missing greens.
“It’s pretty much allowed me to have a free swing at it,” Vincent said.
Vincent’s hot start this fall has added on to the momentum that he built during the summer. He first discovered a hint of his recent form at the Rice Planters Amateur in June, where he finished third.
“The week before that, (my form) wasn’t very good,” Vincent said. “But ever since then, I’ve been swinging it well and just kind of worked on my game.”
Vincent capped his summer with a record 17-shot victory at the Harare Amateur back home in Zimbabwe. He recorded rounds of 64-68-65-69 to finish at 22-under 266.
“That was really special because I had never shot that much under par before,” Vincent said.
It was also special because it came in the same town where he first learned the game.
For as long as he can remember, Vincent has been playing golf. He started at a young age, going to the local golf course with his father and hitting balls.
“Being out there, I enjoyed that,” said Vincent, a native of Harare, Zimbabwe.
It didn’t take long for Vincent to pick up the game. Shortly after, he realized that it was something he wanted to pursue.
“With golf, you get to travel the world and experience new places,” Vincent said. “I knew there was a chance to get a (college) scholarship to study in America, so I dedicated a lot of time to my golf game.”
Vincent said he learned discipline at a young age as he focused on achieving his goal of earning a college scholarship. That hard work paid off when he signed with the Hokies, following in the footsteps of fellow Zimbabwean and PGA Tour player Brendon de Jonge.
“I’ve never met Brendon personally, but I knew about him and he always stood out,” Vincent said. “I’m always following him and what he’s doing (on the PGA Tour).”
Someday, Vincent hopes to follow de Jonge to the PGA Tour. But first, he plans to earn his degree.
“That’ll give me two more years to develop my game,” Vincent said.
And hopefully for Vincent, it will give him a couple more years to win some more golf tournaments.