Zach Cabra transferred to Sam Houston State and strengthened his golf game
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 23:10
Former St. Thomas golfer Zach Cabra transferred to Sam Houston State unsure of his capability in a Division I circuit.
But after SHSU head coach Brandt Kieschinick recruited the sophomore, Cabra has surged his junior year to be the seventh ranked men’s golfer in the nation with a stroke average of 70.6.
Through four tournaments, Cabra topped the scoreboards to secure the Bearkats two first-place finishes to earn the Southland Conference’s Golfer of the Month in September.
However, before Cabra settled comfortably in circuit leaderboards, he sought to improve his game through Kieschinick’s insight.
“He really helps me understand the game better,” Cabra said. “He’s really been able to help me understand how to approach the game and how to think about it and get around the course.”
Although Kieschinick has had an impact on Cabra’s gameplay, he enjoys the impact Cabra has had on the team.
“He brings very solid game play and a great team attitude,” Kieschinick said.
Cabra has distanced himself from the rest of the pack with his efficiency in his short game. The junior credits his success applying Kieschinick’s coaching to his approach each swing.
“It’s not about hitting golf balls and making putts, “Cabra said “It’s about how you do those things and how you incorporate your game to a golf ball.”
Cabra had a record-setting performance for himself and SHSU at the Southern Mississippi Fred Hall Invitational to open the fall circuit. He shot a course and school record of 62 in the first round, while securing a third place individual finish.
Despite his record round, Cabra said he could have shot better.
“To shoot a 62 is always a great accomplishment, but I actually had 3 bogies that kind of hurt me,” Cabra said. “At Southern Miss, the course was in great condition. I hit the ball well, made some putts, and it was almost like a dream.”
But it’s not all about his individual outings.
In the two wins he’s had for the team, he led SHSU to back-to-back first place team finishes for the first time since the team’s 2008-2009 campaign, making SHSU a huge threat in the Southland Conference.
Senior teammate Albert Miner said Cabra has added depth and competition within the squad.
“He loves to compete and hates to lose, which makes him a great player,” Miner said.
With one tournament left in the fall season, and seven left in the spring, Kieschinick sees Cabra continuing his success.
“When he first transferred, I expected good stuff from him, but he continues to amaze everyone around him week after week,” he said. “I’d have to say the sky is the limit for him.”
Cabra has high expectations for himself and his teammates for the rest of their 2012-2013 campaign, but it’s not going to come easy.
“As a team, I think we have the ability to do some great things,” Cabra said. “For myself, I definitely think I have an opportunity to win several tournaments throughout this year. I’ve got to continue to work hard and see that hard work pay off.”
Contributing reporter Kyle Kelly contributed to this article.