Australian student keeps calm and swings on for Chico State golf team

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Will Flitcroft, an Australian-born sophomore accounting major, leads the men's golf roster.Photo credit: Lee Masten

A cool, calm and collected athlete out of Sydney returns to the Wildcat golf team for the upcoming season.

Will Flitcroft, a 23-year-old sophomore accounting major, was born andraised in Australia. With early aspirations of coming to America, Flitcroft was drawn to Chico State to attend school and play golf.

Flitcroft has always been an athlete. He was required to play a sport as a high school student in Sydney, so he chose to participate in rugby, cricket and his favorite pastime — golf.

Flitcroft said he enjoys the challenges and frustration that golf brings, but is always striving to better himself.

After spending two years at Macquarie University in Sydney, he decided to enroll at Chico State, where he joined the Wildcat golf team. Moving from Sydney to Chico was quite a change for him, especially since he had no family or friends here.

“I always knew I was going to come to America at some point and I tried to come here with an open mind since I had no idea what I would be experiencing,” Flitcroft said. “Coach Brown definitely helped by talking me into getting out here to play for the team.”

Flitcroft has only spent one season with the Wildcats so far, but he is already considered one of the team’s biggest returning assets.

Needless to say, the first season was set to be a big challenge for the Australian native. Not only did he have to get used to being in a new country, he had to get used to the elements of his new surroundings when playing .

“The courses here are a lot rougher so your play has to be a lot more technical,” Flitcroft said. “It isn’t as windy here as it is in Sydney so you also have to account for that and play differently than you would out there.”

As freshman, Flitcroft had a 73.36 stroke average which ranked 7th in the nation among his class. He also had three top-five finishes and five top-20 finishes in events throughout the season. With numbers like these, it’s obvious he knows how to handle pressure.

“At the beginning of the year I got off to a bad start,” Flitcroft said. “Once I got more comfortable, I was able to settle down and I did a lot better at the end of the season.”

Coming into the 2014 season, Flitcroft said he has higher expectations for himself.

“I would like to win at least one event,” he said. “I got close a couple times last year but this time I want to get first.”

Maybe it’s the laid-back demeanor from Sydney, but Flitcroft does not allow the amount of adversity he has faced bother him. His numbers make him a big asset to the Wildcats and expectations are high coming into the season.

“Another big thing I would like to do is get into nationals either as an individual or with the entire team,” he said. “I think we have a good chance to go far this year because of how much talent and experience we have coming back.”

Flitcroft has welcomed the change of scenery and enjoys his time at Chico as a student athlete.

“I will always remember Chico and be grateful for the time I spent here,” Flitcroft said. “It has been a great experience so far and I have made a lot of friends, not only with my teammates, but with others as well.”

Lee Masten can be reached at [email protected] or @lee23masten on Twitter.