The art of the individual sport is somewhat unknown to me as I always competed in team sports growing up. I ran for my middle school track team once, but stopped immediately after losing my first race (my short legs just couldn’t get the job done). I have played golf since I was six, but at no point did I ever think about it in a competitive sense. For me, sports have always involved teams and locker room banter.
But for tons of extraordinary athletes, the art of the individual sport comes naturally and many people thrive in that situation. From what I understand, the sense of accomplishment after a victory is like nothing else. You and only you are the reason everyone else is losing.
However, in collegiate sports, the art of individual sports is blended with a team aspect, and athletes are opened up to the best of both worlds.
On campus, we have a number of athletes that compete in this “individual on a team” format and reap the benefits of all the extra motivation that comes with it.
One of the biggest beneficiaries on campus is women’s golf phenom Jane Chin. She has absolutely blown away the competition in every tournament she has played in this season. She has racked up three straight title wins, a UC Irvine record.
Her latest win came at the 10th Annual Kent Youel Invitational at the Kapolei Golf Course this past week. Chin destroyed the competition, beating the second place finisher by nine strokes. Her final round of the tournament was a 69, and her overall total was 203, a tournament record.
Chin’s middle name is slowly becoming “record book.”
Chin’s 54-hole total of 203 is an Irvine record as is her 36-hole total score of 134. In her second round of the tournament in Hawaii, she shot a 66 which ties the record by her teammate Patty Chawalitmetha.
When speaking with Chin, it is almost odd to hear how humble she is. She red-shirted last season and is currently in her fifth-year season and explains that her year off was to just work on her game a little. I think it worked.
She is currently ranked fifth by Golfweek for its national individual rankings and is third in the Golfstat Cup rankings. She is absolutely ballin’ out of control on the golf course. Not only is she dominating the individual competition, but she has been at the forefront of her team moving into 25th in the nation.
The best part about Chin is her outlook on golf. In a previous interview with the New University, we discovered a focus about her that would be hard to match. She is intent on her goals and confident in her ability to get it done. At the same time, she is unfazed by the level of competition she is playing with and takes a relaxed attitude toward her game that really separates her from the pack.
By the pack, I mean every single female golfer in the conference. She was recently named October’s Big West Golfer of the Month.
The only problem is we will not be able to see how her last year in the program will end up until the team wraps up their season in the spring. The team will not play another tournament until the middle of February.
But it is safe to say, Chin will stay on her game over the team’s break and stay on top of the record books.
Don’t believe the hype, believe the Hypothesis.