Travis has tour aspirations for Boise State men's golf

Ty Travis has posted four top-10 finishes in his nine starts with Boise State; he wants to finish his college career and turn professional.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comApril 24, 2014 

Boise State men's golf coach Kevin Burton has another protégé with tour potential — and this one's a local.

Former Eagle High standout Ty Travis, the 2013 IGA Men's Amateur champion, transferred from Weber State to Boise State last summer and has thrived ever since.

The junior has a scoring average of 71.73, the fourth-lowest in school history, trailing one season by Troy Merritt and two by Graham DeLaet.

DeLaet is ranked 30th in the world and Merritt is a PGA Tour member. Burton's program also produced T.K. Kim, the 2012 IGA Men's Amateur champion who is on PGA Tour China.

"I definitely want to follow in T.K., Graham and Troy's footsteps and try to go professional," Travis said.

His progress in the last year will be tested at the Mountain West tournament, which runs Friday through Sunday in Tucson, Ariz. The league features three top-40 teams - New Mexico, UNLV and San Diego State.

Burton says Travis can win.

"He's got the length, he's got the power, he's got the brains — he's got everything going for him," Burton said. "Every time he tees it, he's a contender."

Travis saw a glimpse of his potential and shortcomings last summer, when he found consistency with his driver. He averaged 320 yards with accuracy.

He shot 66 in the Monday qualifier to get into the Albertsons Boise Open but carded scores of 75 and 73 to miss the cut by a dozen shots.

"I've got a lot of work to do with my putting and short game, but definitely my driving has helped," Travis said. "(The tour pros) all can putt and they all can play. It's just unbelievable. The cut was 6-under. I didn't play well, but that was a number I felt like I could get to easily if I played well."

Travis leads a strong local contingent at BSU. Senior Jordan Skyles of Eagle, an Oregon transfer, is No. 2 in the lineup. Freshman David Elliott of Boise is a regular.

Earlier this month, the Broncos sent five locals to a tournament at Chambers Bay in Washington — Travis, Skyles, Elliott, freshman Mark Brassey of Boise and freshman Kyle Mitsunaga of Boise.

Burton said the local flavor on the roster is more the result of "weird circumstances" than a new trend.

"We really had a lot of good players come out of the area," he said. "That's always neat and it's great that they wanted to stay here and play with us. A lot of times when we have one or two (college prospects in the Treasure Valley), they want to go out."

That's what happened with Travis, the son of longtime golf superintendent Clint Travis and sister of former Washington State golfer Allison Travis. He was so set on leaving the area that he didn't have much conversation with Burton.

"I've watched Ty since he was really young," Burton said. "All along, I knew he wanted to get out and play out of state somewhere. We didn't recruit each other very hard. It sure is good to have him back."

Travis finished second in his first event at Weber State and added three top-25s as a sophomore. But with his family and girlfriend in Idaho, he decided he'd rather play for the Broncos.

"I've always loved Boise State, so it was kind of an easy choice," he said. "I just kind of wanted to get away and experience things, but I decided I loved Boise and wanted to be home."

His game, and confidence, have blossomed since he made that decision.

He'll need both to contend this week.

"I just have to play well and believe in myself," he said. "There are a lot of good players in the Mountain West, but it's definitely something I can do."

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