Q&A: Golf star Perras staying focused after making history
Michael Perras just made UH history, but you’d probably never guess if you ran into him on campus.
Perras managed to put together another successful golf season by becoming the first Cougar in history to win both the NCAA Regional and conference championship titles in a career.
Armed with a smile and the kind of manners that come with growing up in Texas, Perras hides the fact that he is an ultra-competitive athlete who has ice flowing through his veins once he steps out on the golf course.
Perras and the UH golf team have been selected to play in the NCAA Stanford Regional as the number nine seed. The tournament runs May 15-17 at the Stanford Golf Club in California. This will be the golf team’s sixth regional bid.
The Cougar sat down with Perras and discussed his career at UH, recent success and plans for the future.
The Cougar: First, I want to congratulate you on your recent success. How does it feel to be a part of this school’s history?
Perras: It’s a good feeling. There is a lot of history in this program and there are a lot of great players to play at UH, so to be able to win big events like that means a lot to me. Especially the last one was a lot of fun.
— Houston Men's Golf (@UHCougarGolf) April 25, 2017
TC: What a way to finish. How did it feel to playoff for the championship?
Perras: I really didn’t realize that I had a chance to win until I got into the playoffs with Christian (DiMarco). I was excited more than anything. I had played 18 well all weekend, and I knew I could give it my best shot. Great feeling to have everyone cheering me on.
TC: Overall, your team ended the tournament in second place. How did you feel you all did together?
Perras: Second place is not bad, but I feel like there is definitely room for improvement. If we want to win conference we have to step it up and try to finish on top.
TC: Is there anything you want to improve on?
Perras: We really need to be good at the right time and make sure we are tuned up. We have been up and down all year so we know how to be good. We just need to make sure we get to the right level at the right time.
TC: Is there any internal competition between the two teams?
Perras: Well, they did win conference last year, so they had that one over us. We tried to see if we could match them this year but fell short. Either way it’s a good feeling to have a golf program that has done so well.
TC: I know you practice a lot both on and off the field. How do you stay motivated?
Perras: I know I have to take the time and practice, but I also have great coaches including my grandpa. He is a huge inspiration on the golf course and is always trying to get the best out of me.
TC: Your grandfather was a 1962 national champion. How does it feel to follow in his footsteps?
Perras: To be able to continue on the tradition means a lot. He was super proud of me. To be in the same school and to be playing in the same tournaments he played in means a lot. He travels with me a lot during the season.
TC: Is that relationship important to your game?
Perras: Absolutely. My grandfather has taught me so much about the game of golf and about life. It matters to me that he takes the time to focus on me and how I’m doing. We don’t hit the course together like we used to when I was a kid, but he coaches me and we still have fun.
TC: What’s next for you?
Perras: I think graduation is most important, but I think I will definitely try to go pro. I am on track to graduate May of next year, but the goal is golf. I will try to start joining tournaments and see how it goes from there.