Golfer A Ram Choi had such a great 2013-14 season that she isn't sure how she is going to top it next year.
"I'm not sure how much better I can do," said this year's recipient of the Emery Zimmerman Memorial Golf Fund Scholarship.
But that doesn't mean she's without goals for next season… like helping the Vikings to back-to-back Big Sky Conference titles and going to the NCAA Tournament.
Topping last season won't be easy for the South Korean native who spent most of her teenage years in Vancouver, B.C. and who transferred to Portland State from the University of Washington as a sophomore.
For the second year in a row, Choi was the Big Sky Golfer of the Year. She was medalist at the Price's Give 'Em Five Intercollegiate in Las Cruces, NM last fall, then won this spring's Big Sky Championship individual title as the Vikings captured the team championship in Chandler, AZ. She also led the Vikings in scoring in 10 events this season and had two single-round scores of 67, which shares the school record with former teammate Britney Yada.
"She has a lot of natural talent and that special 'dig deep' mentality. She can grind when she needs to grind and I think she made a lot of improvement this year with her ability to fight back after a not-so-great round," said first-year Coach Kailin Downs.
To get to where she was last season, Choi said she "worked really hard and played in lots of tournaments last summer. That gave me more confidence and I learned a lot about how to approach a hole."
For instance, she said, "if it's a par five, you can hit drivers, or you can hit a combination of drivers and irons, depending on your confidence that day."
Choi likes to play under pressure.
"I always like to play under pressure. It gets my adrenaline going, focuses me and that helps me a lot," she said.
Still, there's always room for more improvement and Choi has two goals for this summer.
"I want to get more distance off the tee. That means using the power in my lower body better," she said.
"Her short game and course management will be how she can lower her scoring average even more," said Downs. "More creativity and shot selections around the green will allow her to get up and down more often."
There's a second personal goal Choi has set.
"My goal this summer is to begin the road for qualifying for my LPGA card. I'm going to play two schools and If I'm among the top 60, then I move onto the next step in October…then on to the third…," Choi said.
And, Downs thinks that's a realistic goal for Choi.
"She is definitely someone who has the ability to play at the next level and this next year will be a huge opportunity for her to make some small improvements to get her even more ready to go out and make a career out of it," said Downs.
But for the time being, Choi is enjoying her time at PSU. "I really enjoyed my teammates last year. Hopefully, the team dynamics will stay strong next year."
And, Choi is a real asset to the Viking program, believes Downs. In addition to her outstanding play on the course that has led to school-record scoring averages, Choi is an Academic All-Big Sky Conference honoree as well.
"She is setting a standard at Portland State that incoming players can strive to reach," Downs said.