Kyle Souza has been playing golf since he was 7 and he and his dad got into the sport together. Now, 12 years later, the Chico State junior has earned quite a few accolades for his performance on the links. Last year, he received All-American and First Team All-West honors (his second time for the latter). And just last month he competed in North Carolina in the 85th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, making it all the way to the sweet 16—the winner got a spot in the Master’s Tournament. With the school year and a new golf season gearing up, Souza is ready to take his game to the next level, and given all we’ve seen so far, it’s safe to assume we’ll see his name in the headlines before the year is through.
How did it feel to play in the Amateur Public Links Championship?
The USGA [United States Golf Association] events are really the best in the world. When you get into match play at those tournaments, it’s really fun because there are more crowds following the guys. The TV people were there. I had a one in 16 shot of getting into the Master’s and the guy I played, he played in the U.S. Open earlier this year. He beat me by a couple. Just to have the opportunity, it’s been such a great year.
What comes next?
The only thing I haven’t done yet is win a college event. I have not won for Chico State yet. Hopefully I can get my first college victory soon.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully I’ll have played on the PGA Tour for a couple of years. I’d love to turn pro and make a living that way.
Is Tiger going to come back?
What I don’t understand is everyone saying his game is really bad. There are only 12 people in the entire world who made the cut at all four Majors this year, and he’s one of them. I think he’s already back.
What’s your favorite course to play around here?
The one we use as our home course is Butte Creek Country Club—I really like going out there. We play Sevillano Links in Corning, and I think that’s probably my favorite. It’s a little longer than Butte is and I really like it because they keep the greens really nice.
Any advice for novice players?
If you want to get good, you have to practice. The more you practice the better you’ll get. Don’t really dwell on your mistakes—you have to move on, you can’t get mad.