Two Class of 2014 IJGA Alumni crossed paths this week as Thamonpat “Pear” Siriko (Bangkok, Thailand) of Indiana University and Ana Ruiz (Chihuahua, Mexico) of The University of Oklahoma competed with their respective squads at the Westbrook Invitational at the Westbrook Village Golf Club in Peoria, Ariz. on February 22-23, 2015.
Playing as a freshman for top Division 1 schools like Oklahoma and Indiana is quite an accomplishment. Both Siriko and Ruiz, not o nly competed, they also contributed to the team score, as their scores counted towards their team totals all three rounds of competition. Ruiz’s Oklahoma team finished in a tie for sixth at the invitational while Siriko’s Indiana squad came in 11th place.
Ruiz’s best round was her second round, where she carded a 1-under-par 71, just one stroke shy of her season best round of 70. This round included a run of ten par-or-better holes and two birdies. Her overall performance of 219 set a personal best for her collegiate career. Siriko finished all three rounds with identical scores of 3-over-par 75 and included impressive birdies on the par-3 holes Nos. 2 and 4. This was also a personal best for her collegiate career.
The training and atmosphere at the IJGA gave Siriko and Ruiz a distinct advantage over the majority of freshman competing at the NCAA Division 1 level. The training they received on the golf course from IJGA Director of Instruction,Kevin Smeltz, and other qualified IJGA coaches gave them the skills and knowledge they needed to transition from junior golf to college golf.
Siriko and Ruiz also lived in the same apartment during their junior and senior years at IJGA. The environment of excellence they created with the help of the IJGA Residential Instructors, equipped them with the time management skills they needed to maintain a rigorous academic load with their golf activities in college. By living in an environment with other high achievers, they were able to push each to become better players, better students, and of course, better friends. Both Ruiz and Siriko displayed the #CompeteWith mindset that is the foundation of the IJGA Mental Trainingprogram for the 2014-2015 school year.
Congrats to both Siriko and Ruiz as they continue to compete in tournaments this Spring for their respective schools. This will not be the last time these two talented individuals see each other at a college tournament.