May 9, 2007
Florida State senior golfer Torstein Nevestad and the Seminole men’s golf team are preparing to play in the NCAA East Regional championship May 17-19 at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga. Nevestad sat down with seminoles.com before walking onto the first tee at the Don Veller Seminole Golf Course in Tallahassee and talked about his collegiate career and his future plans.
What’s it like to step into the tee box at a big tournament?
“I normally feel a little nervous before teeing off and I think everybody does. That is just a sign that you care and that you want to perform. I would be worried if I did not get a little nervous. Once the first tee shot is done with that nervousness goes away. For me, every tournament is equally important and I treat the first tournament in the fall the same way I will treat the NCAA’s. It’s all about sticking to what you normally do because that is how you earned the opportunity to compete in big tournaments.”
Why come all the way across the world to play golf?
“I wanted to play on the highest level possible and also get a great education. The United States is the only place you can do that and Florida State University has been the best place for me to realize my dreams and aspirations.”
Is playing college golf everything you thought it would be when you came to the U.S. from Norway?
“Truthfully — It’s more. I really did not have a lot of expectations coming over here. I started my college career at Florida Atlantic and went there mainly because of the weather. That situation did not work out for me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity Coach Jones and Florida State gave me. The support for all of the student-athletes is tremendous and I have been able to do and see things I never thought I would. Coming here is the best decision I ever made for my career.”
Which game is the biggest event you have played in during your career at Florida State?
The biggest event I have played in during my career at Florida State would have to be the NCCA Regional last year at Lake Nona in Orlando. I ma also looking forward to the NCAA Regionals this year and hope that we can make it to the finals for the first time in my career.”
Which is the most exciting round you have played in during your career at Florida State?
“The most excited I have been as a Seminole was during my first round in the spring of 2005. I had finally been cleared to play after not knowing if I would have to sit out for a year or not so when all that was finally cleared away I was very excited to tee it up and compete.”
How has earning you way back into the lineup as a senior made you feel?
“I’m very happy to be able to play again. We have a very talented team and if you are not playing your best or close to it somebody else will take your spot. That is the way it is and it’s the only way to get better both as a team and as an individual. If I’m not playing it just means that five of our guys are playing better than me. All the guys that are not playing are pulling for the guys who are playing but at the same time we are all working hard trying to catch up and grab a spot in the line-up. That is how Coach Jones wants it and I think that’s how all the players enjoy that competitive environment. It’s nice for me to be able to finish off my career here at Florida State the right way. I’m excited about competing and hopefully I can help our team reach our goals of the NCAA Finals.”
Taking the fact that you are a senior in mind, how has this season been different from your first two seasons as a Seminole?
“As a Senior your attitude changes. It doesn’t change in a bad way but you start thinking about things you did not think about before. Is this going to be my final tournament round for FSU and things of that nature. It’s just different. I probably savor the moment a little more than I used to.”
Is it more gratifying to help this team to the NCAA Regionals and NCAA Finals or to earn your degree later this summer?
“Making it to the NCAA Regionals this year is something I took for granted. We have so much talent on our team that it never crossed my mind that we would not make it to regionals. Making it to Nationals and contending for a National Championship would mean a lot. I would love to come down the stretch at the NCAA’s having the team depend on my play over the last few holes and having a run at a National Championship. It’s important for me to earn my degree, too, and I’m sure that once I have that diploma in my hand it will mean a lot to me.”
Do you have aspirations of playing professionally?
“I want to go to graduate school first and then I’m going to have to see after that.”
In your opinion, what are the qualities of a leader? Which do you possess?
“In my opinion, the most important quality is having people skills. If you don’t have people skills you can never be a good leader. You also need to be able to adapt to different people and situations. I think I have some of that. You have to be trustworthy, show respect to others and do what you want the rest of the players to do. You need to be a role model to your peers.”