CSU Grad Davis Bryant Discusses His Rise as a Pro Golfer

Colorado State grad Davis Bryant opens up on his path to the pros and what keeps him busy when he’s off the course

By Jim Bebbington

Many of us face a funny question when we get into post-college or post-high-school life.

So….. what do I do with my time?

Our lives have rolled by on a school calendar in some cases since we were 5 years old. Then, we’re out – sometimes never to return. Days are now filled with work, friends, figuring out where we are, where we want to be and how we get there.

What does that look like for an aspiring professional golfer?

Photo Courtesy of the Asher Tour

It looks very similar to what everyone else is facing – plus some unique aspects.

Davis Bryant, 24, earned a Master’s Degree from Colorado State University in December where he also competed on the golf team. By the time he was done, he was the 78th-ranked amateur golfer in the world according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Then he moved in with his grandparents in Phoenix and began professional golf.

Things could hardly have started better. In his first tournament as a professional, the Jan. 9 to 11 Asher Tour Talking Stick Championship northeast of Scottsdale, he went birdie-eagle on the first two holes of day one. He finished the day with a 63. He was in a position to win heading into the final nine holes on day three, but three bogeys on the back nine left him two shots back, tied for 3rd and winning $4,300.

“It’s never always going to be that easy,” he said. “I wish it was.”

Next in Gilbert, Ariz., he played in the Power Ranch Championship (finished 9th). He and Cal McCoy, who grew up in Highlands Ranch and who played college golf for the University of Denver and the University of Arizona, then both played in the pre-qualifier for the WM Phoenix Open. Each shot a respectable 3-under, but only two finishers made it out of the field – shooting 6-under and 7-under

The ocean view from the Santa Barbara Open at Sandpiper Golf Club. Photo By Davis Bryant.

Then it was off to California. Bryant went 6-over for three days at the Santa Barbara Open, making the cut and finishing T-16. At the Central Coast Championship, north of Santa Barbara, Jackson Solem of Longmont won and Bryant finished 15th. Solem is another DU golf alumni. His final round shows the level of play necessary to win – he had just four pars on the final day, his scorecard crammed with birdies, an eagle and bogeys. Solem won with a three-day score of 8-under.

For Bryant, driving with friends to California, and splitting the costs for hotel rooms, made it better. “You are out on an island by yourself,” Bryant said. “There’s a lot of time outside of the tournament round and your mind can wander. Having buddies can help you stay mentally in the right spot – In college, we frankly just didn’t have any time. If I did I was always doing my homework.” Instead of homework, Bryant took a book – Jack Carr’s The Terminal List – and went down to the beach. “I’ve been doing some more reading – crime, mystery books, self-improvement,” he said. He’s read five books so far this year.

“Then really just visiting and going through the area where we’re playing. In Santa Barbara, I got done at noon and saw the town and went to the beach, read my book, and kind of vegged out. …. Not every place is going to be 10 minutes away from the beach.” At 24, Bryant says he can already see how his life is changing and so are the things he needs to do. “I enjoy getting lost in a book and staying off my phone,” he said.

Editor’s Note: All year we are following the professional golf rookie season of Aurora native Davis Bryant. Read past coverage right here on ColoradoAvidGolfer.com.


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