At the 2012 WAC Championship, in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Rio Secco Golf Club, Sean McMullen found himself in the same company as the great Tiger Woods.“Sean is standing on the 18th tee, and he turns and says to me, ‘I eagle this hole, I break Tiger Woods course record,'” Idaho coach John Means said.
McMullen would end up shooting par on the hole and fell one shot short of Woods’ record round of 64. Despite falling short, that memory is still special to him.
“That was a pretty special round, and my dad came out and watched that, so that was pretty cool,” McMullen said.
Breaking a course record is memorable, but almost breaking a course record of one of your idols is even better.
“Tiger is great, his mental game is something you want to mimic and copy, and when he’s in the field he will always be someone you want to see win,” McMullen said.
McMullen originates from Kent, Wash., and originally planned to attend Seattle U out of high school. But some complications with the coach made him change plans and instead, he went to Green River Community College, in Auburn, Wash.
In 2011, the Vandals had a player leave the team and Means had a dilemma.
“I had a list of 30 people that I could have brought in, but none of them had the game to come in and help us, and we needed some help,” Means said.
After playing half a season at Green River, McMullen was given the opportunity to play Division I golf, when Stefan Richardson, the 2011 Vandals golf team captain, came calling.
“I knew the captain of the team Stefan Richardson and he contacted me and said we’re looking for a guy to come play and travel,” McMullen said. “I had always thought this was a nice spot to play golf, so when I got that call from Stefan, I was pretty excited to come here and have the opportunity to play.”
One of the reasons McMullen chose the Vandals was getting the opportunity to play for Means, who had won a national championship, when he was head coach at Minnesota.
“That played a big factor. I wanted to get better here, not just play, and he seemed like he could help me achieve that,” McMullen said.
Off the golf course you can probably find McMullen on the couch watching sports, or at the Kibbie Dome rooting on the Vandals.
“I’m just a sports guy, I love watching football on the weekends. Go Giants!” McMullen said. “Growing up, I played every sport you could think of, I even wrestled in ninth grade.”
McMullen is majoring in advertising with a minor in communications, but plans on trying to go a different route after college.
“Obviously I would like to see my game progress and get better, and if I think my skill and talent are at par with the competition, I would love to give the PGA tour a shot,” McMullen said. “I think that would be a dream come true. It’s a passion of mine and something I’ve always dreamed about since I was a little kid.”
Korbin McDonald can be reachd at firstname.lastname@example.org