Sordet Making The Transition To The U.S., Collegiate Golf|
Feb. 24, 2012
By Jessika Bailey, Texas Tech Athletics Communications
A change in cultures from France to the United States is a lot for a freshman exchange student to endure. Add that to being an athlete at a Division I school. Clement Sordet, a freshman on the men's golf team, overcame the drastic change.
There are many cultural differences between France and the United States. The France native said the tournaments are very different in the two countries.
"Here, I think the golf courses are way older and a lot of winds here," Sordet said. "I practice more here. Last year I did kind of the same thing: school in the morning, practice in the afternoon, but here we have more freedom," he said.
The first time head coach Greg Sands watched Sordet play was at the Amateur Open in Europe. Prior to the tournament, Sands had been introduced to Sordet through a contact with the French Golf Federation and was in contact with Sordet via email.
"He was probably one of our best recruits as far as his World Amateur Golf rankings," Sands said.
Sordet is currently ranked No. 132 in the rankings.
Sordet visited the Texas Tech campus and was instantly drawn to West Texas by the 2011 golf team as well as the Texas weather. He said that the Texas Tech campus was beautiful and that really enjoyed it.
Last weekend, Sordet traveled with the team to San Antonio and competed in the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational. Sordet tied for first with Baylor's Joakim Mikkelsen and a score of 66 for the final round.
"Honestly, he didn't play that great for his standards in the first couple days, he just didn't score well," Sands said. "But the last day he played well and shot 66, the lowest round of the day."
It was a first for Sands to have someone play this well in their first several tournaments in a season.
Sands said Sordet is a very confident player, but is not on the verge of arrogance. To Sordet his first place finish in the UTSA tournament was a great accomplishment, but it didn't mean as much to him as the team bringing home the championship trophy.
"I don't care about my first place finish. I was excited that Texas Tech won," he said.
That approach has caught the attention of his teammates.
"He's a great player and a great person." sophomore Chandler Rusk said. "He has a lot of a talent."
To continue to succeed Sordet believes he must remain focused, practice hard every day and stay in contact with his coaches and teammates. He explains the connection between the teammates is like brotherhood.
Meanwhile, Sands said the team has been meshing well together and has great team camaraderie.
Sordet has set a high goal for himself and his teammates. By the end of the season, Sordet expects the team to be ranked among the Top 25. Sands doesn't believe in putting expectations on players, but he does expect Sordet to play well throughout the remainder of the season.
The men's golf team made their way to Palm Springs, Calif., for the Desert Invitational slated for Feb. 25-26.