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Oct. 8, 2013

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By Brittany Ventriglio
UCFKnights.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Greg Eason is a golfer from England who turned down the chance to turn professional to continue the life of an everyday collegiate student-athlete. In this moment, he is probably studying in class when he could have been flying across the world, perhaps to Sweden, to compete in a tournament.

He has achieved outstanding accomplishments at UCF. As a junior last season, Eason was named PING First-Team All-America, finished eighth at the NCAA Championship and won UCF's first individual NCAA Regional title.

Although Eason had the option of going professional, he decided to return to UCF instead. He appreciates the United States' academic system and completing his communications degree is something that is important to him.

"I want to make sure I graduate first so if [professional golf] doesn't work out, I can take it one step at a time and see what doors open," he said.

Eason is happy that he made the decision to be back at UCF. Professional golf was something he was not quite ready for.

"I feel like I owe it to my coach, Bryce Wallor, to come back," he said. "I've loved it here and I don't think I'm mature enough for professional golf yet. I want to take one more year to enjoy this before it gets more serious."

Eason was forced to make an academic transition when coming from England to the United States. He has been able to take advantage of all the academic support that has been offered.

"I've been surprised how helpful ASSA (Academic Services for Student Athletes) has been toward the student-athletes. They can point you in the right direction and be a backbone when you are going in the wrong direction. The coach has been on top of things and has been the biggest support I can wish for over here. Other academic staff and advisors have been great as well. It's been a good way to pull through the rough patches," he said.

At first, balancing school and sports was something that seemed rough for him. He is happy with his choice of major, and he has enjoyed working hard and is proud of his academic achievements.

"We practice golf for hours on the weekends. Trying to fit in the class homework and quizzes is a bit of a drain for a long day. I've enjoyed working hard and I've worked harder than I thought I would. I give a lot of credit to people who are going to take something difficult and take a lot of time doing that. My academics have not been too bad," Eason said.

Along with being awarded Conference USA Golfer of the Year, Eason was honored with All-American Scholar recognition in 2012-13. Pushing himself to the limits academically was not something he was used to.

"I did work hard. Trying to get A's all the time is something I did not do before," he said.

Eason has competed in professional tournaments as an amateur and says the mentality of professional golfers is one of the reasons he wanted to come back to UCF to continue his academic career.

"The guys on amateur teams are all supporting each other. If you are having a bad day, there are people to pick you up again and out there, no one is there to pick you up again. That's why you have to be more mature. It was different than what I thought it would be. People were very individual," Eason said.

While on the team, Eason has met many well-known people such as Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Barry Bonds. He takes advice from them when they tell him that everything is similar to a journey - a constant progression.

Eason is still continuing his own journey while he completes his academic career at UCF. Although he turned down the opportunity to become a professional golfer to stay at UCF, he says he still enjoys golf and that is one of the most important things for him to remember.

"I love it," he said. "That is one thing I really try to maintain. I play better when I am enjoying it more. If I can try to stay relaxed and enjoy (golf), I get the best out of myself."

 

 

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