Last summer GW lost one of its most talented golfers.
In his senior season, Jack Persons had five top-10 finishes, matched the team’s lowest 54-hole score in the Atlantic 10 Championship and ended his career with a combined 75.35 scoring average – the sixth-lowest in program history.
But this season, one prolific Colonial has already begun to fill the graduate’s sizable shoes – GW’s lone rookie, 18-year-old Logan Lowe.
Last week, the freshman phenom led the Colonials at the El Macero Classic with an even-par 72 to finish in a tie for 29th place.
“It has been great to see [Lowe] start to really shine this semester and break out,” head coach Chuck Scheinost said. “I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg. He can be so much better than where he is at right now.”
It’s something Lowe has been doing all year. In his first collegiate campaign, he has paced GW with a team-high average score of 73.13 and has already picked up four A-10 Rookie of the Week awards.
At the Rutgers Invitational back in September, his first ever collegiate competition, Lowe closed with a 5-under-par 66 to equal the lowest 18-hole score in program history.
“I was definitely a little nervous for my first time at a college event,” Lowe said. “[If] guys are bigger, they hit it further, but [the nerves] were actually gone after the first day. I tied the school record so that was huge for me. I figured out early in my career that I can actually do this.”
But his success should come as no surprise. The self-described “golf addict” has had a deep passion for the sport all his life.
He started swinging clubs at age four with his father, and by 17, Lowe had reached the Round of 16 of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. Lowe even appeared on the Golf Channel alongside pro Jeff Sluman and played rounds with PGA tour members Esteban Toledo and Joe Durant.
“Honestly I liked team sports, and I loved the atmosphere, but when it came to baseball and basketball, I wanted to play every position and I just couldn’t,” Lowe said. “In golf, I kind of had the opportunity to be my own boss. It was also harder, and I liked that. It’s just more of a mind game, which is more fun to me.”
In addition to outstanding performances on the green, the business administration major also excels in the classroom.
At Nevada Union High School, where he also earned back-to-back Sierra Foothill League MVP honors, Lowe graduated as valedictorian of his class.
“My parents always put education first for me,” Lowe said. “The incentive was that I had to get good grades in order to keep playing golf. Not taking my car or phone, the golf clubs went first.”
Scheinost, who first met a 9-year-old Lowe at a golf camp, said he kept in touch with the standout athlete throughout his career. When Lowe’s top-choice college didn’t pan out, Scheinost’s offer to GW was an easy sell.
The head coach knows Lowe has big dreams and big potential.
“He is such a great kid in that when he puts his mind to things he finds a way of achieving those,” Schenost said. “His ultimate goal is to make it on tour, and I think he has the skillset to do that. I think he knows he has a long way to get to that point, but it is a process. It is not going to happen overnight.”
While Lowe has his sights set on going pro and perfecting his individual game, he said his team’s goal of winning the A-10 tournament and playing in the NCAA championship comes first.
Scheinost described his current squad as one of the closest knit groups he’s seen in his 11 years of coaching.
“I love the guys here,” Lowe said. “I don’t like to put myself in front of my teammates. They are all part of my success as much as I am.”
Lowe and the Colonials travel to Orlando, Fla. this Friday to compete in the 2016 A-10 Championships, where Scheinost hopes the freshman can finally claim his first top-place finish.
“For [Lowe], I think it is about getting over that hump of winning his first event,” Scheinost said. “He was right there multiple times this year, and I think once he gets over that hump, which will hopefully be next week at the A-10s, that’s when he will really explode.”
Matt Cullen contributed reporting.