The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

I just wanted to hit it far’


Cody Franklin — THE BATTALION

Junior Adria Arnaus said the thrill of hitting with power drew him to golf.

Few Texas A&M students travel as far to College Station each year as does student athlete Adrià Arnaus. The junior from the men’s golf team hails from Barcelona, Spain, well more than 5,000 miles away from the heart of Aggieland.
It was in Barcelona that Arnaus picked up the game of golf and where he ignited a passion for the sport that would eventually land him in Texas.
“My dad is the director of a little golf course next to Barcelona,” Arnaus said. “And so, he would never have thought everything would have ended up like this … He got in a friendship with somebody that started the golf course. And I started playing and I guess I liked it more and picked it up around eight years old and then started competing.”
The ability to drive the ball with great power, a skill that he sees in his professional idol, Sergio Garcia, was of particular interest to Arnaus when he was younger.
“What I really liked is to hit it long,” he said. “I’m guessing now I’m trying to do the opposite, just hit it as straight as possible. But the thing that got me going is the distance when I was younger. I just wanted to hit it far.”
Not only did he “hit it far,” but Arnaus proceeded to thrive as an elite golfer on the junior circuit in Spain, earning a Spanish Boys Under-18 ranking as high as third and helping the Spanish male under-18 team claim the European Boys’ Team Championship in 2011. However, when it came time to advance past his high school career, Arnaus felt that his native home did not offer a program that would entertain both his golf and academic pursuits.
Luckily though, Arnaus’s resume caught the attention of several college scouts from the United States who sought unidentified talent overseas as potential prospects for their programs.
One of these scouts was Texas A&M head coach J.T. Higgins.
Higgins set up a campus visit for Arnaus while he was stateside for a junior event. On his visit, Arnaus fell in love with the A&M golf facilities, campus proximity and weather conditions, and soon after completing his event in Florida he decided to announce his commitment to the university.
His first semester on campus was not without tribulation. Arnaus, as a first-year college student whose family resided on a separate continent, became homesick.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said. “At the beginning you’re like, ‘Ah man, I’m here, alone, things are not going as easy as I thought because the English wasn’t as good as it is now, I guess. I was lucky to find my roommate Ben [Crancer] and all the team supporting me. They didn’t give me a hard time or anything. They just helped me and I guess that made it easier first semester.”
Assistant coach Brian Kortan said Arnaus could not be more at home as he is now in his third year with the team.
“Initially, I think it was hard for him,” he said. “But as he’s gotten deeper into Texas A&M and the team, he’s really figured it out. He does great in school. He uses all the resources we have for him and has adjusted to where you can tell he’s from Spain, but you really can’t tell he’s from Spain.”
Arnaus, now fully acclimated to the American and collegiate culture, thrives within the Texas A&M men’s golf program. His overall scoring average, relative to par, has declined in each of his three years here, from 77.67 in 2012-13, to 74.22 in 2013-14 and 72.36 in 2014-15.
He posted his career low round earlier this fall at the 2014 Dick’s Sporting Goods Challenge Cup when he carded a six-under 65 in second-round action.
“You come here and you think that, coming from Spain, that you are good,” he said. “But you see that the world is so big and then there’s a lot of people. As good as you think you are, you are not even close to being as good as you could be. You get shocked at the beginning. You play different courses, you play different grass, you play different winds. Everything is real different. It’s just hard to adapt. But once you get that down, you just try and work as hard as you can.”

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