Everyday Champion - Alex Williams
Alex Williams is a junior on the Oregon State men’s golf team. Williams took home his first individual first place finish this year at the NW Winter Shootout, and is now part of the team’s second trip in a row to the NCAA regional tournament. A patient leader, Williams has a career average of 74.4 strokes per round. Alex took some time before the team’s trip to regional’s to talk about life on and off the field.
Q. You are majoring in history. How did you get into that?
I got some advice from my dad and someone else I had worked with that, if you are going to be going to school for four years, you might as well major in something you are interested in. So I decided to major in history. I have also traveled to Europe a couple times, which helped grow my interest in history because there is so much more history there than there is here. I have also thought about living somewhere else too.
Q. What do you plan on doing with your degree after your graduate from Oregon State?
I have thought about going into teaching. I have also thought a little bit about graduate school, but I don’t know if I would want to continue with history if I did that.
Q. When did you start playing golf?
I started playing golf when my family moved to Vancouver, which was when I was about 10 years old. I attended a lot of golf camps and one year one of the golf pro’s told me that I was pretty good, so my interest increased after that.
Q. How do you define a leader and a role model?
A role model is somebody that you look up to, that is making good decisions in their life. It’s someone who you can ask questions and learn from. There are role models on TV, but I think a real role model is someone who you know and somebody that can be there for you.
A leader is somebody who inspires you and who is, like a role model, is making good decisions. But I think inspiration and motivation are the biggest qualities in a leader. They get you motivated to accomplish something, or to become better.
Q. Who do you look up to in your life as a leader?
My coach. He’s learned a lot the last couple years about how to get me motivated and ready to play. Jerry Lynch, a sports psychologist we work with, is always teaching me about how I play or how I’m thinking. But he also inspires me to get the best out of myself.
Q. Are you involved in any organizations outside of golf and academics?
I’m involved with S.A.A.C. I am one of two representatives for the men’s golf team, and I am actually going to be running for a new position in S.A.A.C.
Q. You have played in most of the tournaments the men’s golf team has competed in the last two years you have been here. What does it mean to you to be playing at such a consistent level?
I feel honored and thankful that I have gotten that opportunity, and that my coach has that kind of trust in my game. I think that a lot of other people could have been chosen over me, but I feel very privileged to have been that guy to be there. It is just nice to know that someone believes in you other than yourself.
Q. What has been your greatest accomplishment during your time at Oregon State so far academically and athletically?
Academically it has been my consistency with my grades. I do my work, what is required of me, and I get my stuff done. Athletically playing in the regional tournament as a team was a great experience. Playing division 1 regional championship was a great opportunity. You know we only lost by one, but we get to go play again on May 13th and it is awesome.
Q. Your coach has called you patient and someone who always plays within himself. How do you describe yourself as an athlete?
It is an ongoing joke why my coach says that about me, is that I’m not the guy who can hit it the farthest. So I know that I can’t play other people’s games. I just have to play within myself and use other parts of my game to keep up. But I somehow get it done. I think it just something I have grown into and it has helped me evolve as a player. My wedge play has improved a lot because of that.
Q. Why did you choose Oregon State?
Well both my parents and my sister went to Oregon, but I chose Oregon State because it was a good distance away from home, but also being recruited by coach Watts was a big factor. I always felt that he believed in me, and there was a caring factor and a trust and I felt like he was going to help me grow not only as a player, but as a person outside of golf. My parents were really supportive and they just wanted me to have the best opportunity for me.