From Tahiti to Kennesaw, Beaucousin playing well

Growing up and playing golf more than 5,000 miles away in Tahiti, Teremoana Beaucousin had never heard of Kennesaw State, but knew that the state of Georgia, with the Masters, was a good place for golf.

Through a service that helps international students find U.S. colleges, Beaucousin and Kennesaw State coach Jay Moseley began communicating. Beaucousin visited the campus, like it and almost a year later he and the Owls will be competing in the NCAA Championship, which will begin Friday at Prairie Dunes in Kansas.

“When I recruited him I knew he had the best resume and best playing record of anyone I had ever signed or played for me,” Moseley said. “It was there on paper. I knew if he came here and developed and improved he could be one of the best players we have.”

Beaucousin (pronounced Bo-ko-zahn) hasn’t disappointed. His worst finish came in his first tournament, an 18-over 234 good for a 68th-place finish at the Carpel Capital Collegiate. He said he arrived with a lack of confidence that Moseley said was reflected in his long game.

Beaucousin got over that issue and rebounded post a third-place finish at the Colleton River Collegiate and a tie for second at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.

Behind Beaucousin’s 2-under 70 in the final round, the Owls finished second in the Auburn regional to secure a spot in the NCAA Championship for the second time in three years.

“It is going to be a great experience because everyone has worked hard to achieve this goal,” Beaucousin said by e-mail.

The interview was done by e-mail because Beaucousin is working to improve his English. He said speaking and understanding the language have been the hardest part of the move from his home in Papara, Tahiti, to the U.S.

But Beaucousin does know the language of golf. His stroke average of 73.3 is second-best on the team behind Jimmy Beck’s 72.47. He posted six top-10 finishes.

Moseley said that tee-to-green Beaucousin is PGA-Tour quality.

“He’s one of the best ball-strikers I’ve ever seen, only being a 19-year-old freshman,” he said. “His putting is good, not as good as the rest of the game. Pitching and chipping is impressive.”

Discussing golf is the quickest way to get Beaucousin to open up.

He started to play when he was 5 years old on what Moseley said is one of two courses in Tahiti. Both of Beaucousin’s parents play. His father, a doctor, has a 2-handicap.

Beaucousin improved and eventually would often take a 4-5 hour flight to play for several weeks at a time in Australia. He would also travel to Paris to play there during the summer.

“He’s tracked a lot of miles in his young career,” Moseley said.

Those worldly experiences are why Moseley said he thinks Beaucousin will do well this week.

“That has provided a big advantage for him to adjust to any kind of golf,” Moseley said. “His game stacks up well for any kind of golf course.”