Q & A With Tze Huang Choo

May 15, 2008

The Washington men's golf team is making its 13th-straight regional appearance when it hosts the NCAA West Regional at Gold Mountain Golf Club this week. Husky freshman Tze Huang Choo sat down with GoHuskies.com correspondent Emily Florence before the team left for Bremerton to talk about how his season is going and playing in his first regional championship.

GoHuskies.com : What have you been doing to prepare for Regionals this week?
Tze Huang Choo: 'I don't want to over golf, but still practice a bit. I try to prepare myself more mentally because I feel that my game is getting better and I just want to let it go naturally. I just try to get as many things out of my way as possible like school, housing or laundry and that stuff. Just get everything done and have a clear mind.'

GH: You have played really well as of late, especially at the Pac-10 tournament, were you expecting to do so well as a freshman?
Choo: 'I would say in a way yes and no. Obviously we have our expectations from coach and myself, but I struggled quit a lot in the fall and winter. Coming down the stretch I've been playing well and I kind of expected myself to play better and it turned out well at the Pac-10s.'

GH: How did it feel to know you were in the race to win the Pac-10 Championship after the first two rounds?
Choo: 'It felt really good. I haven't been in that position in a long time. I was hoping to do well the last two days, and I did alright the third day, but I would say its my first year so Ill take it easy on myself.'

GH: Are you excited to play at Gold Mountain since you know the course?
Choo: 'Oh yeah, I like the golf course. I last played there for the Husky Invitational and the US Publinks, so I know the course really well. I'm definitely excited to go back there and play and hopefully keep the good stretch going through there.'

GH: Do you think Regionals being held here is an advantage for you and your team?
Choo: 'Yes, I would say so because looking at the past performances, I think we came in second in the fall at the Husky Invitational and the guys like the golf course. It suits a lot of our games and the guys have been playing well. We definitely know the course better than most teams, so that should help a bit and be an advantage for us.'

GH: What is the team's mindset going into Regionals?
Choo: 'T be as ready as possible. Were definitely working hard and it would be great to make it to Nationals. We just want to play well and make it through.'

GH: What are your goals personally going into Regional play?
Choo: 'My main goal is to finish in the top-20 and the top-20 is a bit of a push, but I just want to play as well as I can and really see where I stand among the best players in college golf right now and improve on stuff that I need to.'

GH: Being from Singapore, what made you choose Washington?
Choo: 'Good question because it's really far and really cold, but I came here for a recruiting trip and my dad and I really liked the place. I liked Coach Thurmond a lot. He is a guy who I know really motivates the players and he is a great guy, so probably the coach convinced me, as well as the place and the history of Washington golf. I just love Seattle. It's a lot like back home in the way that it is built up, so it's nice.'

GH: What has been the coolest place you have traveled to for golf?
Choo: 'Papua New Guinea. We took a plane to the capital Port Moresby, and we took a small plane which we landed on a grass runway. It's a place where the golf course had no pins, it was dangerous, we had security guards on the bus with shotguns and knifes and everything, so it was an interesting place I would say.'

GH: Do you look up to anyone as a golfer?
Choo: 'I really don't know, I look up to all the guys. I think I'm a pretty unique player compared to other guys. I don't have a perfect swing and I'm a bit stubborn sometimes when it comes to techniques and stuff so I try figure my way around. I pick off from different players and try to self-build my game.'

GH: How long have you been golfing?
Choo: 'Since I was six, so that's fifteen years, a long time.'

GH: What are your hobbies besides playing golf?
Choo: 'I like watching movies, hanging out with friends, just chilling.'

GH: What are you majoring in?
Choo: 'I haven't decided, but I looking into economics, which hopefully I might get into or communications.'

GH: How has it been for you balancing school and golf in your first year of college?
Choo: 'It's been, I would say easy and hard, depending on the schedule and depending on the classes I take. The first quarter was tough because I was new to it and the second quarter was a bit easier with easier classes. This quarter will be tough because of a really tight schedule in the spring so a lot of things are on my mind, making sure I get everything in place before I travel.'

GH: Will you get to go back to Singapore this summer?
Choo: 'Yes, I'm going back definitely. I miss home and I will probably stay the next summer to play events here in Seattle.'

GH: Thank you, and good luck at Regionals!
Choo: 'Thank you.'

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