DADE CITY, FL — No one would argue that France is a hotbed for professional golf, but the University of Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist is trying to change that.
The freshman from Rueil-Malmaison, France struggled Monday to play to his usual standards but still sits amongst the top-10 at the University of South Florida’s Invitational at Dade City, Fl.
After firing an opening day 70 on the 7060-yard, par 72 course, Sciot-Siegrist fought with his putter on the back nine firing three bogies and finished the round with a 74 and sits even heading into Tuesday’s final round.
“My long game was good but my short game was really bad. I didn’t make putts under eight feet so I couldn’t get a good score. I am a bit disappointed,” said Sciot-Siegrist.
It’s been an unconventional road for the kid from a Paris suburb who followed the sport his parents and grandparents fell in love with..
“[Golf’s] not popular at all,” Sciot-Siegrist said with a grin. “It’s beginning to get popular because of the Ryder Cup in 2018 but it’s [still] not popular. We certainly don’t have colleges playing against each other.”
Long before Sciot-Siegrist captured the French Under 16 Championship and Under 18 Championship he was on the radar of Louisville Cardinal assistant coach Andrew Tredway.
“I’ve known about Robin for four or five years now,” said Tredway. “At that time he was 13-14 years old so I always paid attention to French golf and I started contacting him.”
That connection fostered into a relationship that would lead to Sciot-Siegrist choosing the school in northern Kentucky over several other US colleges, bringing instant experience to the Cardinal’s program.
“Robin is pretty mature for most freshman, I mean we don’t even think of him as a freshman cause he’s got so much experience on an international level,” said Tredway.
His transition from France to America has almost been seamless. His English is as fluent as his backswing and his Twitter is decorated with a picture of the Louisville football team.
The USF tournament is the first after a five month break which saw Sciot-Siegrist find success early in his collegiate career.
Appearing in all five NCAA fall tournaments, he led the team with four top 10 finishes, with his best result coming at the Cardinal Intercollegiate where he finished tied for third.
Managing the workload that being a student athlete entails has been one of few challenges Sciot-Siegrist is still working on.
“Even if it’s tiring I like to play golf,” Sciot-Siegrist. “I like the school and I made a lot of friends there.”
As a young player Sciot-Siegrist is going to have days on the course like today that just don’t go his way but the future is bright for the lefty from France.
“For Robin it’s just a matter of staying patient, he’s going to do enough good things over the course of a round, it’s going to happen for him,” said Tredway.
“I think he is really close and it’s just a matter of telling him that. I think he knows he’s close so I don’t know if we have to do a whole lot.”