The anomaly that is the quarter system is providing a bigger challenge for Louisiana Tech’s golf team than any bunker, hazard or out of bounds marker.
With the end of the school year at hand, five members of the team will tee up their final exams early in Ruston before teeing off in Tucson as the Bulldogs head to the NCAA Regionals, the first regional and only second NCAA postseason appearance in school history.
For senior Victor Lange there is added pressure. His academic — and possibly athletic — collegiate career could reach its conclusion in a matter of days or weeks, but another level of stress lingers in the background — deportation.
That is because Lange, a native of South Africa, will have only 60 days to apply for and receive a visa to remain in the United States in order to pursue his dream of a professional golf career.
“The process is definitely stressful,” said Lange. “I am finishing college and there is a lot that I am deciding about — where I am going to live, where I am going to move, where I am going to practice, what tour I am going to play on. All of those things are questions in my head right now.”
This is not just a pie-in-the-sky of playing a sport on a professional level: Lange has accumulated credentials over his four years in Ruston that are incomparable. One of the best golfers to ever hit the links for the Bulldogs, Lange’s accomplishments are as many as the record categories themselves. He will leave Louisiana Tech as one of, if not the, most accomplished golfers in school history as he almost single-handedly rewrote the record books.
Now faced with an earlier deadline for papers and final exams, the workload increases for Lange as that adds to another important homework assignment – his visa application.
That application process, while long and exhausting, has taken its first steps and looks promising. And it is pivotal in allowing Lange to seek the job he came to college in the United States for. It is the task of just trying to stay in the country.
“It is promising but it is stressful,” Lange said. “That will allow me to continue to play golf in America. I believe I will get it but the amount of time it takes to get it can vary greatly. Obviously I want it really soon but I may have to (return home and) wait a few months then come back to America. But right now it looks like I could get it in the next few weeks, which is pleasing.”
The workload, while increasing, still isn’t over for the Bulldogs senior. He still has at least one or potentially two more collegiate tournaments ahead of him (Lange could potentially advance as an individual if Louisiana Tech is not among the top five teams at the Tucson Regional). And he still must continue working on the completion of his visa application.
Advance or not, visa received or not, Lange will still return to Ruston to celebrate another goal accomplished when he walks across the stage during Louisiana Tech’s commencement ceremony on May 21.