The Carnegie Mellon men’s golf team began the spring portion of its season this past weekend by winning the Westminster Invitational. Tartan sophomore Alex Timmons won the individual portion of the tournament. Last week, the Tartan sat down with Timmons to discuss the tournament and the golf season.

Tartan: When did you start golfing?
Timmons: I started playing in about fifth grade, at a club and individual tournaments, and then I played in high school too.

Tartan: Was golf part of your decision to come to Carnegie Mellon?
T: Yes. It was definitely a big part of my decision to come here. I came on a recruiting trip, I didn’t stay overnight or anything, but I met some of the players, and went to a couple of classes, and really liked the school. I knew I really wanted to play in college and was excited that I could play here.

Tartan: How do you handle the academic load at Carnegie Mellon and athletics?
T: I actually do better academically during the golf season, when I know I have very limited time, and have to get my work done. I pretty much just sit down and do it instead of procrastinating like I can do in the off-season.

Tartan: Do you play just for individual scores or team scores as well?
T: How it works is [that] for every tournament we can send at least one team of five players, and they tally the top four scores as your team score, and the scores count for individual players too. Most tournaments, we’re only allowed one team, sometimes we can take two, and there are usually ten to twelve teams at the tournament.

Tartan: Do you have any rituals or superstitions for during a tournament?
T: Golf is such a mental sport; it’s really all about confidence, so some people really go out of their way with things like that. Personally, I’ll only use golf balls with the numbers four or one on them, and then I mark them with a silver Sharpie.

Tartan: Are there any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of?
T: Well this weekend was the first college tournament that I’ve won so I’m proud of that, and I think being on the team in itself is an accomplishment.

Tartan: Do you have a most memorable shot or tournament?
T: I have a couple memorable shots from the tournament last weekend, but that’s probably just because it was only a few days ago. Our conference tournament last year was pretty memorable for me; I didn’t play very well, but our captain played really well, and ended up in a playoff and won the tournament, so it was really exciting.

Tartan: Do you have a favorite place that you’ve visited for golf?
T: Arizona is really nice for golf. The weather is really nice, and they have lots of nice courses. With the team, the only place we’ve traveled to a lot is Florida. We went to Florida for spring break, and we’re holding our conference tournament this year, in Florida, so that’ll be fun.

Tartan: Do you have any personal or team goals in mind?
T: Winning another tournament is a good personal goal, and then I would really like for us to qualify for NCAAs this year as a team.