Starting over: from Spain to the U.S.
The transition from high school to college is seen to be a stepping stone in life and more often than not a difficult one. In most cases, family plays a pivotal part in helping one make the change. When you go to a university located on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, this transition gets all the much harder.Borja Faixat’s transition from high school in Spain to college in the U.S. was difficult, however his success on the golf course and in the classroom made the shift possible.Faixat wakes up on a normal day for class just like any other college student, but when he gets out of bed, it’s just a little bit harder. The junior golf team member is 3,846 miles away from his family, who reside in Bracelona, Spain.Faixat was first introduced to golf around the age of 11 by his grandfather. Golf and tennis were his favorite sports during his adolescent years, but golf won out as he began to play on a more consistent basis, he said.As Faixat played more and developed his skills, he began to enter golf tournaments in America and Spain where he worked his way to the podium. In 2003, when Faixat was 16, his talent became apparent through four tournament victories, including the PGA Golf Club Summer Academy Tournament, placing him third in the Catalan Under-18 rankings. In 2005, Faixat achieved the No. 1 standing in the Catalan Under-18 ranking.”I thought golf would give me a great opportunity to come here (America) and play,” Faixat said. Faixat began to contact colleges in America so that he could receive an education while playing golf. His search landed him at University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), a NCAA Top 20 nationally ranked golf program. Faixat arrived at UTA unable to speak English, yet hopeful that he would play golf on the team. Faixat said he learned to speak English in America on his own. “Living here helped,” Faixat said. “I read a lot and tried to keep up with my school work. At first I was frustrated and always carried around a dictionary to check words and sentences. I was paying attention and trying to learn which helped my English.”He did not play for the UTA golf team due to a redshirt senior exercising his final year of collegiate eligibility. Faixat decided to transfer, leaving with the accomplishment of teaching himself English and a 3.8 grade point average.Faixat contacted golf head coach Clay White and made an unofficial visit to Seton Hall on his way back to Barcelona from UTA. He decided to transfer to Seton Hall because of the Stillman School of Business, the proximity to New York City and the golf team. “I thought his personality was good and he could help us be competitive,” White said. “Based on who’s here, I figured he could fight for a spot right off the bat.” When not involved with class or studying, Faixat can be found working on his golf game. “Hopefully I’m never going to be satisfied,” Faixat said. “I’ve improved but there’s a lot more to improve on. I need to keep working. I need all aspects to be together on everything.”When Faixat came to Seton Hall in the fall of 2008, he quickly qualified for three tournaments, although he only participated in one.”There’s not a lot of pressure working on my game,” Faixat said. “I just need to be patient. Results will come through my ambition to do good.” Faixat returned from his offseason practice and tournament play in Spain with an improved game.In the fall he registered the lowest two-round score of his career with a 6-over-par, 78-70-148, at the Navy Fall Classic, helping his team finish third out of 17. He fired a career best 4-over-par, 75-73-148, to place fifth in the Lincoln Mercury Intercollegiate while participating as an individual.”He’s been a great kid,” White said. “He’s a great student. He represents SHU well as a citizen and member of the community.” Colin Rajala can be reached at email@example.com.