Los Osos golfer Matt Hansen has his eye on the PGA Tour

Special to The TribuneJune 15, 2014 

Congratulations to all 2014 graduates. May you strive to build on your dreams by creating fulfilling careers.

Los Osan Matt Hansen received an economics degree from UC Davis this month and knows exactly where he wants to be years from today:

“I’ve always been goal oriented,” he said. “I hope to be on the PGA Tour within three years and make golf my career. Winning the Masters is on my bucket list.”

Hansen admits he had to give up many social aspects while at Morro Bay High and college to focus on his golfing aspirations. The next step on his career path is the PGA Tour Q-School (qualifying school) where he’ll play tournaments throughout the United States from August through December. His challenge is to play his way into the top 20 to earn invites to play with the pros.

Hansen has proven to be an achiever. The Golf Coaches Association of America selected him for the Division I PING All-West Region team twice in his college career. He was among 27 regional golfers named to the All-Big West First Team in 2014. He received UC Davis’ award for male athlete of the year for 2014.

His mother, Kristin Hansen, said, “Matthew was an all-around athlete growing up playing soccer, baseball, track, tennis, basketball and, of course, golf. His dad (Ken) first took him to the range and he fell in love with it. He did a couple of junior camps at Sea Pines and started playing local tournaments at age nine.  At 10, after just being drafted into the majors for Little League baseball, he said to me, ‘I will finish out my commitment to baseball (until age 12), but then I want to stop and focus on just golf and soccer.  I want to play golf in college and then be a pro.’  He was dead serious.”

Hansen credits Gary Setting, professional golfer at Sea Pines Golf Resort in Los Osos, for “putting me on the path to improvement.” At age 12, he sought tournaments throughout California challenging the next level of competition. His mother reports, “His sophomore year he blossomed and all of sudden he was on a bunch of college coaches’ radars … a lot of recruiting emails and letters starting Sept. 1 of his junior year.”

He accepted and ultimately received a full ride scholarship when a junior in high school. He said he didn’t want the distraction of recruitment to divert his focus to play well in tournaments. He’s working on keeping his focus while in PGA Tour Q-School by finding 25 individuals or quartets of sponsors to invest in his dream career. Contact him for more information at mfhansen@sbcglobal.net.     

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.

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