SAN ANTONIO – Zach Cabra made his mark during a decorated tenure at Sam Houston State. Now, he’ll have an opportunity to do so on the PGA TOUR.
Cabra, 24, who owns the top two Bearkats' seasonal marks in scoring average, qualified for the Valero Texas Open on Monday, nabbing the final spot in a playoff over former University of Texas player Lance Lopez, shooting 67 before winning a two-for-one playoff at The Club at Comanche Trace in Kerrville.
“He’s probably one of the best competitors I have ever been around in any sport,” Sam Houston head coach Brandt Kieschnick said. “Any time he tees up he is playing to win. He plays golf as a vehicle to compete. He is one of the best with that mindset. It is an amazing style of play. He is a really good ball striker and sinker.”
The McKinney native helped Sam Houston to consecutive Southland Conference championships and NCAA Regional appearances in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Cabra’s 71.43 scoring average in 2014-15 still stands as the best in program lore.
“He came on and settled in right away and won really early,” Kieschnick said of Cabra’s Bearkat career. "He made everyone better around him. The guys had to compete and had success. I love the attitude he came with. He really set the tone. He practiced to win and was a great team leader in that aspect.”
The Boyd High School product racked up five individual titles in two seasons with the Bearkats. His second-round 62 at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate stands as the program record while his final-round 65 at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship is tied for seventh in team history.
“I saw him last Friday before he left for qualifying,” Kieschnick said. “I told him to stay patient. The thing about Zach is he won’t be nervous. The bigger the stage, the better he is. I think he will be right at home with some of the best in the world. He’s always risen to the level of play.”
Cabra has made the cut in seven of 13 Adams Pro Tour events, most recently notching a fourth-place tie at the Southwest Louisiana Open. The result was just the latest in a string of success. The Boyd High School product has recorded top-10 finishes in four of his last six outings.
For Kieschnick, who played four years of professional golf following a decorated career at Sam Houston, Cabra serves as an example for current and future Bearkat players wanting to compete on the next level.
“I was fortunate to come here and develop my game and I want to pass it on down,” Kieschnick said. “I want to have a program where you’re going to be prepared for the highest stage of golf. That is my passion, to share things and help them play the game as long as they can. This is why I do what I do.”