Q & A With Senior Anthony Arvidson
June 2, 2001
Heavy rain and lightning chased the field at the NCAA men's golfchampionships inside for the better part of the day on Friday as the thirdround was suspended, meaning the teams will finish the third round Saturdaymorning prior to the final round.
Oregon State senior Anthony Arvidson sat down for a few minutes inthe lobby of the Washington Duke Inn to talk about his role on the team thisyear, life, personal fitness, and football coach Dennis Erickson, amongother things. Here's what the Portland native had to say:
BEING THE ONLY SENIOR ON THE TEAM AND HAVING HAD SUCCESS IN THE PAST, YOU'VEBEEN LOOKED TO FOR LEADERSHIP. HOW HAVE YOU APPROACHED THAT ROLE THIS YEAR?
Anthony Arvidson - 'I accepted the responsibility coming into this year. Iknew I was the only senior, and I knew I had three years of experience incollege golf behind me, so I try to be the leader by example and to do theright things on the golf course and off the golf course. It's pretty much assimple as that. There's not much to it, you just do what you think is rightand do what you believe in and hopefully the guys will follow you.'
DO YOU ENJOY THAT ROLE?
'I do - I think it's good. It's fun to have guys look up to you and to askyou about different things, and that's how I was when I was a freshman. It'sjust a changing of the guard.'
WHAT WISDOM HAVE YOU PASSED ALONG TO THE YOUNGER GUYS?
'I've tried to pass on some things I've learned from experience - where toput it on the golf course, where not to hit it. Anything from basic issuesabout life to trying to help out in every aspect to make them better peopleand better players. Whatever it is they need help with, I try to help themout.'
AS FAR AS YOUR TIME AT OREGON STATE, WHETHER IT'S GOLF, SCHOOL, SOCIAL LIFE,WHAT'S BEEN YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE HERE?
'I'd say this (golf). Every experience I've had in college has been great,but the team unity we've had this year and getting as far as we have -making the cut at nationals - it's great. In the past, we'd never reallyaccomplished our goals as a golf team, and this year, we're almost there.Making the cut was a good goal for us this year, and for us to do that isgreat and has been my best experience so far.'
(The interview paused here for a minute as Tom Selleck came out of theelevator a few feet away. The actor was staying at the same hotel as thegolf teams while performing in a play at Duke University.)
YOU'RE BUILT MORE LIKE A DEFENSIVE BACK (6-1, SOLID 183) THAN YOUR TYPICALGOLFER. TALK ABOUT YOUR WORKOUT AND WHAT MOTIVATES YOU.'I take workouts just as seriously as I do golf and anything else in mylife. It's one of the few things you have control over in your life, and Itreat it as such. I want to look my best and feel my best and give myselfthe best chance to play well by being in shape and having a good diet.
'The program I'm on is a program set up by the football trainers. ToddBarbour is my trainer, and he's done a great job - he's always kept me on aprogram, he's always there to spot me if I need help or anything. My diet ispretty much on my own. I've learned about how to eat, what kind of dietregimens to go on, and how many times to eat every day. It's just a routinefor me, and I think that's helped me get to where I am even as a golfer, notjust a quote 'bodybuilder' or whathaveyou.'
YOUR MOM MENTIONED THAT WHEN YOU FIRST GOT HERE YOU HAD THE NICKNAME '219'.WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THAT?
'When I came in my freshman year, the first day of weigh-ins down in thebasement of Gill, I weighed 219 pounds. Today I weigh 183. Back then, Iprobably couldn't have benched 175 pounds, and I don't know what it is now,but it's a lot more than that.'
YOU'VE ALSO GOT THE NICKNAME 'SHOOTER'. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
'I've had it since high school. My friends knew nothing about golf, but hadseen Happy Gilmore, and they just figured they were going to call me'Shooter' (after one of the characters in the golf comedy). It's nothingmore than that.'
DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPERSTITIONS OR RITUALS THAT YOU GO THROUGH BEFORE A ROUND?
'Nothing real extreme - I try not to treat it any differently than any otherround of golf. I wouldn't say I have any rituals or superstitions. I alwaysmark my golf ball the same way, but everyone does that.'
DOES YOUR FAMILY TRAVEL TO ALL OF YOUR EVENTS?
'Most of them. I think it's great to have people there wearing Beaver shirtsand wearing orange and supporting our team. A lot of teams don't have that,and it's great to have four, five, six or however many parents show up tocheer us on.'
WHEN YOU GET SOME TIME AWAY FROM THE COURSE AND SCHOOL, WHAT DO YOU DO INYOUR SPARE TIME?
'I try to make myself just like any other college student - I go out onThursdays, try to get away from school as much as possible and relax.Workouts are a great time for me to get away, and I love playing basketballwhen coach will let me, but he usually doesn't. Anything where I can get outand sweat and not think about school or golf is fine with me.'
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO COMING BACK FOR NEXT YEAR AND JUST GOING TOSCHOOL?
'It's going to be a little weird. I'll probably be a little disappointed Iwon't be able to play in the tournaments, but that's how it works, I've hadmy four years here, and I've made the most of it. Next year's going to befun - I'll probably get a part-time job, maybe at an athletic club orsomething along those lines, but I'm just going to enjoy my time and havesome more free time to do the things I want to do. I might turn pro in thefall and just play in a few events to make some extra money, but noimmediate plans for the PGA Tour or anything right away.'
ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE, IN THE PAST YOU'VE HAD SOME UNFORTUNATE LOSSES WHENFRIENDS HAVE DIED VERY YOUNG IN ACCIDENTS. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO TAKE
FROM THOSE EXPERIENCES THAT HAVE HELPED YOU GROW PERSONALLY?
'Last year, in March, one of my best friends at the time from my high schoolgolf team, Ryan Weggenman, was killed down in Palm Springs in a caraccident. I couldn't believe it, I couldn't even fathom that one of the guysI grew up with and played golf with and spent most of my time with was dead.I was so sad and so down for a few days, and then I shed some light on thesubject and told myself to learn a lesson from this that you can go at anytime, love life, live life the best you can and don't take anything forgranted.
'I went out the next week and had an attitude that I never had before. Ididn't care where the ball went - I didn't care about anything. All I wantedto do was accept it and just play, and I ended up winning the tournament(the Duck Invitational). It was huge, it was a 180-degree turn in my mindsetfrom where it used to be. It was a good learning experience for me althoughit was a terrible event. It taught me something.'
YOU ALSO HAD ANOTHER FRIEND WHO PLAYS PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY?'
Andrew Ference. He plays for the Penguins.'
HOW FAR BACK DO YOU GO?
'I met him my junior year of high school, so not too long ago, but we becamegood friends from having classes together and going to parties.
'He played for the Portland Winterhawks. I respected the fact that he's aprofessional hockey player. He's tough as nails - he's a 180-pound hockeyplayer from Canada. I wouldn't ever want to get in a brawl with that guy, hecould beat up just about anybody. We both respected each other because wewere very good at our sports in high school.
'I haven't talked to him since high school actually, but I'm looking forwardto calling him up someday and asking how it's been playing in the NHL. It'spretty cool.'
YOUR DAD AND STEP-DAD BOTH WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, AND YOURBROTHER WENT TO STANFORD. WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE OREGON STATE OVER THOSESCHOOLS?
'I had talked to the Stanford coach just briefly, because my dad wanted meto. I asked the coach what my chances were of getting in there and playing,and he asked what my grades were. I told him 3.5, and he said that wasn'tgoing to be good enough, so I let it go. I didn't really want to go thereanyway.
'(OSU coach Mike) Ketcham called me the summer of my junior year, and Iwasn't really sure, I didn't have any idea where I was going. I wanted topursue Oregon and Oregon State along with a few outside chances like NewMexico or TCU. Then I went on a visit to OSU and had so much fun - I likedthe atmosphere and loved the school. I liked everything about the recruitingtrip.
'A good friend of mine at the time, Chris Emanuel, who was one of my bestfriends from junior golf, wasn't sure where he was going, and I told coach,'If he signs with you, I'll sign with you.' Sure enough, he signed and Icalled coach that minute and told coach, 'I'll go to'. I loved Oregon Stateto begin with, and I'm still glad to this day that I went there.'
YOU AND COACH ERICKSON SEEM TO HAVE DEVELOPED A FRIENDSHIP - HE MADE A POINTOF COMING OUT TO THE FIRST ROUND OF THE REGIONALS TO WATCH YOU PLAY. WHAT'STHE HISTORY OF THAT RELATIONSHIP?
'I met coach Erickson at the OSU scramble last year, and we just took aliking to each other. Obviously, he's a great coach and a great person, andhe's done incredible things for the Corvallis community. In my mind, he'sturned everything around. He and Mitch Barnhart.
'I see coach Erickson in the weight room all the time, he's always in thereand I'm usually in there working out with his players. We just talk aboutstuff - football, golf, whatever. We just have a mutual connection, a mutualrespect. I think it's great. Coach Erickson, people look up to him, andhaving someone like that come out to support you and your golf tournament isa motivating factor in itself. It's cool that one of the best coaches in thehistory of college football would come out and watch you play. That means alot to our whole program.'
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADDRESS (AS THE RAIN DELAY CONTINUES)?
'Yeah, this weather sucks (he laughs). I want to go out and play.'