Alex Ching '12 has earned a great deal of recognition in his three years on the USD golf team. According to the Torero Athletics Website, he is one of 26 golfers listed on the 2011 Ben Hogan Award Watch List, and he won the prestigious 2010 Western Refining College All-American Golf Classic with a 12-under par 201, beating out 30 other All-Americans from the 2009-2010 season. He was recently named WCC Men's Golfer of the Year. The Honolulu native said he loves USD for its strong sense of community and proximity to his beloved Pacific Ocean—like a home away from home!
What have you learned about balancing your roles as athlete and student?
The biggest thing I have learned is to manage my time well. I have so little time during the week to study and also practice golf that I have to put every bit of effort I can into the thing I am currently focusing on. I also want to enjoy my time at USD and have a social life, so hanging out on the weekends and eating lunches on campus take my mind off of golf and school.
"Teachers reach out to athletes and want to get to know them as people. They know me by name and we can talk outside of class."
Why is a liberal arts education important to you?
A liberal arts education is important to me because I want to learn about everything and not just focus my studies on one general subject. While at USD, I have developed a wide knowledge base and have been able to take courses that help me develop as a person.
Any memories you'd like to share? What have you enjoyed about your time here?
My greatest memory was in my freshman year. Our team was at NCAA Regionals at Lake Merced and I was coming up the 18th hole. It was the third round and we were on the bubble of 4th, 5th, and 6th place. Only five teams make it to the National Championship. And as I walked up that fairway, I looked at my team and they were pumped. I don't remember what I made on the hole but I went over to my team and it was the first time USD's golf team had made it to NCAA's. I was so stoked! Our team and coaches were so happy. We celebrated and it was one of the best feelings I've ever had.
"While at USD, I have developed a wide knowledge base and have been able to take courses that help me develop as a person."
I have enjoyed the closeness that the USD community has to offer. I feel like I know almost everyone in my class, and while I walk up and down the quad people stop and say "hi" or have a conversation with me. It's a very close-knit community and coming from Hawaii, this is what I needed. I enjoy the family feeling it has to offer.
What are your goals for the future?
My primary goal is to graduate from USD and turn professional immediately after graduation—and then get my PGA Tour card in the fall of 2012. I want to be a successful professional golfer. This includes winning a PGA Tour event, and then on to a major; Masters would be ideal!
What, in your opinion, makes USD special?
Like I said, USD has a family feel to it. Everyone knows everyone. I'm able to be friends with a lot of people in my class as well as other classes. Teachers reach out to athletes and want to get to know them as people. They know me by name and we can talk outside of class. I also love that the beach is so close. Coming from Hawaii, I enjoy seeing the Pacific Ocean. I would prefer it to be a little warmer, but being able to quickly drive to the beach and feel the sand in my toes and listen to the waves crashing is a good feeling.
- Anne Malinoski ‘11