Golf captain talks Tiger Woods and holes-in-one

This text is a part of a operating collection The Day by day sports activities workers might be publishing on seniors.

As a present Stanford males’s golf workforce captain initially hailing from New York Metropolis, Ethan Lawrence Ng believes that this week’s NCAA championships might be the workforce’s 12 months to take the dub, which the Cardinal final received Ng’s freshman 12 months in 2019. With a scoring common of 72.68, Ng just lately posted his career-best at Regionals, securing a fourth-place end with an 18-under 198. He led the workforce to its college better of 57-under, breaking the 2006 report of 42-under. Ng additionally excels within the classroom and made the Pac-12 Tutorial Honor Roll in 2020, 2021 and 2022. By his buddies, Ng is thought for his fixed toothy grin, loose-clothed model and laid-back angle. The Day by day’s Annie Reller sat down with Ng to mirror on his time at Stanford.

The Stanford Day by day (TSD): Ethan, thanks a lot for this interview. My first query is fairly easy: What number of hole-in-ones have you ever had in your life?

Ethan Ng (EN): Three hole-in-ones, however most notably, I had a hole-in-one the identical day Tiger Woods received the 2019 Masters. Tiger Woods is my golf hero, I like his golf achievements. I additionally had a hole-in-one this 12 months; it’s on the Stanford golf Instagram.

TSD: At what age did you notice that you simply had been really good?

EN: I’ve by no means realized (laughs). Most likely once I was round six or seven. The story allegedly goes, once I was round three or 4, my dad took me out one weekend when my mother couldn’t handle me, to the golf course to hold with him and his boys. And I simply fell in love with the sport. And I’d ask him  each weekend if I may go along with him, and he’d begrudgingly say okay. I’d simply get on the market and whack balls. And I actually favored it, after which he purchased me my very own set of golf equipment and it snowballed from there.

TSD: How previous had been you once you hit a zero handicap?

EN: I don’t know once I grew to become a scratch golfer, in all probability eight or 9. However there’s a notable story there; my dad used to play golf on a regular basis. After which once I was actually eight or 9 years previous, I nonetheless have the scorecard, I beat him straight up. And he had performed the very best spherical he’s ever performed in his life. After which he stop and began teaching me from there.

TSD: So why did you belief a coach who’s worse than you?

EN: That could be a nice query. Oh, he’s my dad. So in fact I’m going to belief him.

TSD: As a child, how a lot was golf in your life?

EN: Not plenty of D1 golfers come out from New York. I can solely consider one different child, in a very good college, who comes from New York Metropolis. Most children had been {golfing} each day. I grew up simply enjoying on the weekends, they name {that a} weekend warrior. After which over the summers I attempted to golf each day with my dad. However on weekdays, I used to be the varsity captain of the swim workforce. Though golf was a giant a part of my life, it solely took up a bit little bit of time.

 TSD: And the way previous had been you once you began getting recruited?

EN: That’s an excellent query. I obtained my first supply, a full scholarship, from Wisconsin once I was 12 years previous. I used to be in sixth grade.

TSD: Who’re your largest supporters?

EN: My household, and my girlfriend, Nicole. My dad particularly has been my largest supporter. All the things comes round to my dad. For the report, I credit score every thing to my dad. He obtained me into the sport of golf. He’s paid for each set of my golf equipment. He’s pushed me throughout the nation to tournaments. He flies throughout the nation to return watch me play. He’s my primary supporter.

TSD: So why did you choose Stanford?

EN: Stanford was all the time the dream college, clearly. My dad used to play this Tiger Woods documentary once I was actually younger, and Tiger went to Stanford. And I all the time was like, wow, I need to go to that college as a result of he went there, and he’s the very best golfer of all time. Additionally, I wished to go to Stanford as a result of I knew it was a very good college. And that’s my mother, lecturers. The significance of lecturers comes from my mother.

TSD: What does it really feel prefer to symbolize Stanford? Do you determine as a consultant?

EN: Each time we go away campus, I really feel that. It’s the largest honor. I’d say these previous 4, 4 and a half years, have been the most important honor of my life. And I’m very proud to put on the “S” on my shirt every time we exit and compete. It’s all the time been my dream to return right here and it’s exceeded each expectation I may have needed to play for the varsity and be right here.

TSD: How do your friendships at Stanford fluctuate with non-athletes versus athletes?

EN: Coming into Stanford, I used to be very anxious about making buddies and whatnot. However being on a workforce right here, you could have a built-in pal group. Everybody on the golf workforce are my greatest buddies, my brothers. However exterior of golf, lots from my freshman dorm, these are a few of my buddies that I’ve had without end. My girlfriend, all her buddies are my buddies now. However yeah, it’s arduous to stability social time and golf. It’s simply all about time administration. It’s one thing that I’m nonetheless engaged on.

TSD: What was it like being captain of the boys’s golf workforce this 12 months?

EN: It’s simple when you could have such an excellent group of fellows. It’s very easy to verify everybody’s in line and it doesn’t really feel like an obligation in any respect. We’re on the market actually having fun with being ourselves with one another and simply being buddies, so it doesn’t really feel like there’s an enormous hierarchy of management. It simply feels natural, which is sweet.

TSD: Is the workforce aggressive inside itself? Are you attempting to beat the opposite folks in your workforce?

EN: Yeah, completely. School golf is attention-grabbing, as a result of golf clearly may be very individualized. However there’s a workforce part and clearly the workforce issues extra. In qualifying for each event, we’ve three or 4 qualifying rounds to find out what the lineup is for the precise event, and it will get actually aggressive. Since everyone seems to be of excessive caliber and might play very well, scores get actually low. Clearly there are heated moments when coaches make selections to take a participant over a special participant. However all in all, we all the time know we’re enjoying for the workforce. So though it’s aggressive, and we need to beat one another, there’s by no means any animosity.

TSD: Do you could have any event rituals or superstitions?

EN: Earlier than each spherical, I attempt to do a couple of minutes of meditation, visualize my first gap. I get very nervous earlier than so I simply attempt to calm myself down. I additionally don’t take articles of clothes off, even when it’s scorching. I’ll maintain it on, as a result of taking off a layer will make my swing really feel completely different. If I’m enjoying nicely with a sure ball, I received’t change balls. I’ll all the time have my ball marker the identical aspect up if I’m placing nicely, going through the identical course.

TSD: Do you discuss smack to different gamers on the course? Is there that kind of competitors, or as a result of it’s a respectful sport, is there much less of that?

EN: Nicely, with faculty golf, you grew up enjoying in opposition to everybody else in Junior Golf. It’s a fairly small neighborhood. All my teammates, I’ve identified them for some time. Particularly when you’re going to an influence 5 college, these are massive names.

TSD: Who’re attention-grabbing folks that you simply’ve gotten to fulfill by the game?

EN: There are plenty of cool folks that follow at our facility, so we rub shoulders and we get to select their mind each every so often. We had been invited to the White Home in 2020 after we received the 2019 championship and obtained to fulfill Dianne Feinstein and Trump. There was plenty of controversy round that, however I wasn’t gonna go up a chance to go to the White Home. I’m not the most important fan of Donald Trump. So once I met him, I tickled his wrist in a small act of rise up. 

TSD: What does it really feel prefer to be an individual of shade in a predominantly white sport? 

EN: Oh, that’s an attention-grabbing query. Though golf is a really white sport, there are such a lot of Asians that play golf, that I nearly don’t really feel like a minority. However I believe the larger difficulty I’ve with golf is the tradition surrounding golf, it’s very dominated by white folks, the wealthy and elite. There’s plenty of entitlement that comes with golf tradition, and that bugs me, but additionally, I’ve made a few of my greatest buddies by golf. And I believe golf has introduced me to locations that I’d by no means thought had been conceivable. So I’d by no means give it up.

TSD: Okay, so what’s subsequent for you? And the way do you’re feeling about graduating?

EN: I’m actually, actually unhappy to be leaving the golf workforce as a participant. It has been the most important honor and privilege of my life. I couldn’t think about a greater expertise. However I’m excited to return again as probably the graduate assistant coach and end my Grasp’s and be capable to spend another 12 months on campus.

TSD: You may have a giant factor forward of you quickly. How do you’re feeling in regards to the upcoming event, NCAA Nationals?

EN: We really feel actually good. I personally am coming off my profession greatest end at regionals, I shot 18-under, fourth place. However the workforce is feeling actually good. We obtained plenty of confidence getting into and we actually really feel we will win this 12 months.