Matthew Hovan's final putt on the 54th hole of the 2012 NCAA Regional Championship put a cap on his four-year men's golf career at San Jose State University. The last two years, Hovan was a staple in the lineup playing in 25 out of 26 tournaments and finished with the second-best stroke average on the team.
Hovan graduated this spring as a business major. The San Mateo, Calif., native reflected on taking care of business on and off the course.
"When I got to San Jose State, Coach (John Kennaday) told me I could try and walk onto the team, but nothing was guaranteed. After making it the first year I played really bad and had to tryout again at the beginning of my sophomore year," Hovan recalls.
He was relatively new to the game picking up competitive golf a few years earlier at Serra High School. He tried out for the second time at SJSU and again made the team. His sophomore season took a bright turn that featured two top-five finishes and a career-low round of 67 at the 2009 Palouse Collegiate in Pullman, Wash.
"Coach taught me some great things that year about working hard to achieve my goals and putting in extra effort to succeed," says Hovan. "That stuck with me and now I'm graduating after four years and I'm going to turn pro in golf."
Hovan plans to start his professional career traveling and playing in mini tours. Former teammate Mark Hubbard is mentoring Hovan about golf after San Jose State. Hubbard most recently qualified to play professionally on the Canadian Tour.
"The main difference between playing golf here and becoming a pro is having the mentality that, golf is your life now," says Hovan. "This is something that I came in wanting to achieve. Even during those first years that were tough on me, I knew this is what I wanted to do."
Matthew attributes his successes during his Spartan career to his family and friends, teammates and Coach Kennaday.
"I have a strong support base that has helped shape me," he says. "I think I have the ability and a great group of people around to help push me in the right direction as a pro golfer."
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