Q&A With Michael Jurgensen
May 29, 2003
CORVALLIS, Ore. - -
Q&A - Michael Jurgensen
Michael Jurgensen recently completed his career on the Oregon State men's golf team with ten top-20 finishes, including four top 10s. The native of Horsholm, Denmark, has competed in over 100 rounds in just three years since transferring to OSU from the University of Copenhagen. During his sophomore year, Jurgensen helped the Beavers to a tie for 12th at the NCAA Championships - OSU's best finish ever. Jurgensen leaves OSU with a career scoring average of 73.82. The following is a recent question-and-answer session:
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PLANS NOW THAT YOU'VE FINISHED YOUR CAREER AT OSU.
'I'm going to head straight home. I was lucky enough to get picked for the (Danish) national team, so I'm going to go play in the European Team Championships early in July, and that's the first tournament I have coming up. Then I'm going to play for the national team quite a bit in some regular tournaments. I'll also play some pro tournaments where they allow amateurs, and I'm going to remain an amateur at least through October. Then, depending on sponsors, I'll probably turn pro in October. I want to be secure and not have to worry about money when I turn pro, so it might take another year with the national team, just practicing and getting better at the amateur level. I also might have three or four months of school left to get my Danish degree. I just need to work hard on my game and get better.'
WHAT IS YOUR DEGREE IN BACK HOME?
'It's called State Science - it's a little more theoretical than Business Administration. It's a lot more technical, and it's harder. The way school is back home, you have to take two or three years of classes, but then you have to write a paper, which is at least 70 pages of new material that you create. I might have to do that, but hopefully not; they may accept all my classes from here.'
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR TIME AT OSU?
'I've learned a lot about myself and how I react under pressure. I've obviously had some valuable learning experiences - Pac-10s last year stand out, when I was leading for a long time and didn't play too well coming down to the last round. That's the kind of thing you learn from. I've learned that when I'm playing how I want to play, I can play with the best of them, and that's going to give me confidence later. I've beaten pretty much every guy there is, and I know I can do it. It's just a matter of working harder than everybody else and doing the right things.'
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AT OSU?
'Nationals always stand out - being a part of that and finishing 12th (as a team) in my first year. That obviously stands out. I've improved a lot every year. I didn't finish the season off as well as I wanted to, and my stroke average went up to about 73, when it was down to about 72 after my first seven tournaments. So that was a little disappointing, but I still improved almost a shot from last year, even without playing very well. So I guess I've been pretty consistent, and that's what you look for in this game, you try to be consistent. Even if you don't have your best game, you still want to be in contention. I've done that fairly well. Obviously, I didn't get away with a win, but I still know I can do it, even though I didn't get that one under my belt.'
TALK ABOUT YOUR SEASON AS A TEAM.
'I think we got off to a good start in the fall, and we were right where we wanted to be. Come springtime, we didn't perform the way we hoped to. That includes everybody - I didn't perform the way I wanted to. We had a fairly disappointing spring, just because we have so much talent. We shouldn't be worrying about getting into Regionals, we should be thinking about finishing in the top five in every tournament. We didn't do that at all, and it's been frustrating. On my own part, I had to take 16 credits over the winter term, and that didn't allow me to practice as much as I would have liked to, which hurt me a little bit. That's not an excuse either, because everybody has school. It was a hard quarter for me, and it reflected on my game, too. I wanted to make it to Nationals as a team, but we ended up in Regionals and gave ourselves a chance; we just didn't get the job done. It was close, but... There's a lot of talent here - the guys are going to be pretty good next year.'
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE STORIES FROM THE GOLF TEAM?
'It was always fun to travel with Dave Yarnes (Yarnes was a two-year letterwinner who graduated after the 2002 season, and is roommates with Jurgensen). He is a character, and he's always good for a few impersonations. He's really cool to be around; he's funny.
YOU'VE SAID BEFORE YOU ENJOY HIKING. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HIKES?
'I like fly fishing. We're going to Eastern Oregon pretty soon, and we're going to see some parts of Oregon that I haven't seen before, so I'm looking forward to that. I like to get away from golf once in a while and clear my mind - just focus on something else. For me, that's a good way to relax and not think too much about golf. Then I can focus better when I'm back in a tournament. That's probably been my main problem over here. We have qualifying all the time, and I'm more the type of player where I have to take a couple weeks between tournaments where I just practice and don't play really at all. You don't have that here, because you have to qualify. I think that's going to be beneficial to me after college.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD?
'I've had a good time. It's been going really quickly, the three years. Most guys have four or five, and everybody tells you that it's going to go by before you know it, and it sure did. It doesn't feel like three years. It feels like it's gone by awfully quick. That's probably a clichï¿½, but it's true. I know it went way faster than the 2 1/2 years I went to college back home. That went by really slowly, because you can't really play golf at the same time back home. It's almost impossible. But I'm looking forward to competing somewhere else.'
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