Topping the Big Ten
Jon Trasamar is no stranger to success on the golf course.
The Blue Earth native and member of the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher golf team was recently named Big Ten golfer of the week. It is Trasamar’s first time being honored by the Big Ten.
The senior captain led the Gophers enroute to a 17-stroke victory and the team’s first team tournament title since the 2006-07 season.
He carded a 6-under-par score of 138 (72-66) during the 36-hole Barnabas Health Intercollegiate in Bedminster, N.J., from Oct. 20-21. That mark was good for second overall in the individual standings.
The 66 was a career-low at the 7,014-yard, par 72 Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club. Trasamar shot a 29 on the back nine of his final round, which included an eagle and five birdies.
His success on the golf course started back in eighth-grade when he was a member of the Blue Earth Area varsity golf team. Incredibly, Trasamar made the State Tournament and finished second place overall his first year on the squad.
“I was young and felt that I had an advantage over the field,” Trasamar says. “I didn’t have college recruiters to worry about. I really had nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
To this day he still holds the record for best state finish (2nd) and best total score at the state tournament (148) at BEA. Trasamar also holds records for season scoring average (36.4) and medals won in a season (13) and in a career (43).
“Playing golf at BEA was the most fun I’ve ever had,” Trasamar explains. “I loved the guys on the team and I always looked forward to practicing with them.”
In his high school career he was a three-time All-State selection, three-time All-South Central Conference selection, as well as a two-time conference and three-time section champion.
His coach, Steve Fernholz, (better known as Ferny) was a coach who really knew his fundamentals and more than anything, had a calming personality about him, according to Trasamar.
“He was one of those guys that you never wanted to let down because he was such a great fit for our team,” Trasamar recalls.
His decision to play golf at the University of Minnesota was an easy one for Trasamar.
“Once the process started for finding the right college, I was open to all the possibilities,” Trasamar says. “But, the Gophers have produced All-Americans and representing my home state has always been a dream of mine.”
Trasamar also was in talks with Wisconsin, Michigan, Notre Dame and Illinois.
At the time, Brad James, the coach of the Gophers, came and watched Trasamar his freshmen and sophomore year.
He committed to the U of M his junior year.
The plan going into his freshmen year at the U was to play right away. However, Trasamar made some swing changes in January of his senior year at BEA.
“All golfers know how difficult it is to completely change your swing,” Trasamar says. “That’s exactly what I did. I wasn’t ready because it was hard to trust the changes I made and decided to redshirt my first season.”
Trasamar has been playing golf ever since he was able to walk; he always had plastic clubs in his hand he says.
“In golf you don’t rely on anyone else,” Trasamar explains. “It is a mental game. I love it because you are the only one who gets to decide whether you want to improve. It is always your fault, and your fault alone, if something doesn’t go your way.”
His family grew up in Blue Earth and moved to Sioux Falls when he was nine. However, they moved back to Blue Earth when he was 14.
The Trasamar men love their golf. His brother Ryan played golf for South Dakota State and his father, Lonnie, is still an avid golfer.
As for the future, Trasamar would love to be a teaching professional or a college golf coach if turning professional doesn’t pan out.
He graduated from the U of M last December with a business marketing degree.
Trasamar plans to pursue pro golf after finishing up his sports management grad program next May.
“I have been a student of the game for so long,” he says. “It would be difficult not to be involved in playing or teaching golf in one way or another.” Gopher highlights
His freshman season (2010-2011) Trasamar finished with a stroke average of 76.77. He also led the team at the FAU Spring Break Championship with a four-under par round of 212 to finish in fourth place. He was also named Academic All-Big Ten.
The Golden Gopher finished his sophomore season with a 76.07 stroke average and recorded three top-20 finishes, including tying for 11th at the Fighting Irish Classic during the fall.
His junior year, he had a stroke average of 76.33. He tied for sixth at the Snowman Getaway, his lowest finish of the season and also finished the Big Ten Championships with a 72-hole total of 300 to tie for 17th place.
This past summer, Trasamar was the medalist and champion at the 81st Pine to Palm tournament at Detroit Country Club in Detroit Lakes. He was one of the few golfers to win both the stroke play and match play components.