Matador of the Week: Felix Schrott

Senior+Felix+Schrott+swings+for+the+fences+in+his+6-under+effort+at+the+Bill+Cullum+Invitational%2C+earning+first+place+and+leading+the+Matadors+to+victory+at+The+Oaks+Club+at+Valencia+on+Tuesday%2C+Oct.+11%2C+2022%2C+in+Stevenson+Ranch%2C+Calif.

Braden Villanueva

Senior Felix Schrott swings for the fences in his 6-under effort at the Bill Cullum Invitational, earning first place and leading the Matadors to victory at The Oaks Club at Valencia on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in Stevenson Ranch, Calif.

Benjamin Miller, Reporter

Felix Schrott is this week’s Matador of the Week after his clutch performance gave the Matadors the win in the Bill Cullum Invitational.

Schrott finished with the lowest score of the tournament, earning the first individual win of his college career and propelling the Matadors to their first win of the season. The Matadors won the Bill Cullum Invitational for the second year in a row, proudly defending their home course of The Oaks Club at Valencia.

“That was definitely special. I was waiting for it for a long time. I came very close last year but I couldn’t pull it off, so that was definitely something I wanted to do,” Schrott said. “And doing that at the home course, that’s very special.”

Schrott jumped out to a scorching start, scoring an eagle and seven birdies on the tournament’s first day. He began the final round one stroke behind first place, and was in constant contention for the entire round until a double bogey on hole 15 placed him firmly in second. With just three holes left, Schrott managed to recover and battle back, scoring three straight pars to tie Darien Zhao of UC Irvine for first place at 6-under 210. In the final playoff hole, Schrott scored a par to Zhao’s bogey, giving Schrott the victory at the Matadors’ home course.

“To pull it off in the playoffs and to win the tournament is a good feeling,” Schrott said. “If somebody would have told me in the last few holes I can win a golf tournament, I would have taken it, so I was trying to be a little positive going into the last three holes. That’s all you can do is stay positive.”

Despite what the senior’s accomplishments on the course might suggest, golf was not his first sport. Schrott started playing golf 13 years ago, back in 2009, when his mom introduced him to the game. She took him to one of her golf lessons, and he was immediately enthralled. Before that, Schrott participated in horse riding and soccer as a kid, but when he first experienced golf it was love at first sight.

“From that point I never looked back,” Schrott said. “I took lessons every day until school started. I basically fell in love with the game.”

From growing up in Italy, to tackling boarding school in Austria, and finally coming to California for college, Schrott is no stranger to change. Many might expect his transition to the United States to be a difficult one, but Schrott said his travels have made adapting to the culture considerably simpler. Moving away from his parents at 14 prepared him for the trials and tribulations he would endure as a college athlete. The relationships he made along the way helped, but his drive and determination made the difference.

“I wanted to come here. I wanted to play college golf so it was not as hard as people think it was,” Schrott said. “Everyone here, especially our coach, was so welcoming. And our teammates, our older teammates, it seems like it is family here for us. We built some great relationships and that makes it easier.”

Looking to the future, Schrott still has one year of eligibility as a college athlete and plans on completing his fifth year at CSUN. He aims to go pro after college but says it all depends on his body after he suffered an injury last fall that put him out for four months.

The injury occurred in the final weightlifting session of the season. Schrott maxed out on the bench press with the trainers when he put too much weight on, tearing his pectoral muscle during the lift. The injury is still causing Schrott some pain and discomfort, so he is rehabilitating the muscle and watching to see how everything develops before committing to a future in the sport.

“It hurt really bad, it still hurts,” Schrott said. “Now I am trying to get my strength up. I am spending time in rehab three days a week and just trying to get stronger and stronger. It is a process.”

The Matadors will travel to Hawaii on Oct. 28 for the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational, their final tournament of the fall semester. Schrott is looking to repeat his solid performance from last year, where he placed third in the contest, firing 14-under 199.

“I am really looking forward to Hawaii. I finished third place last year and the field was very, very strong. So I am trying to repeat that and we will see what happens,” Schrott said. “For now, I am happy, and everything else that happens this season is a plus.”