In early June, when the Tigers knocked off USC 4-1 in the NCAA Finals, LSU men's golf secured the program's fifth national championship and first in 60 years.
The architect of the title-winning program, head coach Chuck Winstead, joined TSD's Ben Love recently to discuss the breakthrough on "Bumper to Bumper Sports" on 103.7 FM (KLWB) in Lafayette.
"The most gratifying part of winning a championship or a big event like this is you can tell how many people it's made happy," Winstead said.
After Winstead reviewed the Tigers' path to the championship, he also looked ahead to the bright future of LSU's program as well as that of a senior member of the team this past season, Ben Taylor, who a week ago qualified for the British Open.
On Taylor, who hails from England: "It's everything, really. Guys that grow up in the States always want to play the Masters or the U.S. Open. People that grow up in Europe, their championship is the Open Championship. So for Ben this is a dream come true."
On incoming freshman Sam Burns, a Shreveport native recently named the No. 1 junior golfer on the planet: "He's had a tremendous run in junior golf and really into amateur golf. I mean he's currently ranked inside the top 10 of the world amateur golf rankings, not just juniors but all amateurs, which includes all the college players. Sam is a unique talent."
Finally Winstead, a 1991 graduate of LSU, opened up on the recruiting advantage that is Tiger Stadium, giving a truly unique perspective on what it's like for coaches of other programs to utilize that venue on gameday.
"With all due respect to the (LSU) football program, and there probably isn't a bigger fan than myself, I think you could play basketball down there in Tiger Stadium. You could do almost any (sport). It's the people - that many people collected that care about one another and the school and what have you," explained Winstead.
"Being able to bring someone from the state of Florida or Zach Wright, an All-American on my team from the state of Arizona, to have him go to an LSU-Alabama game (during his recruitment) and experience what that feels like, with all due respect you're not going to find that in Tempe, Arizona. That doesn't exist, that feeling and that excitement. There's no question that Tiger Stadium, when you have that many people in there all pulling together, it's a special thing. And it's not just special for football, it's special for everybody."
Winstead talks title, value of Tiger Stadium
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