Getting to Know Angelina Ye, 2018 Annika Invitational USA Champion
Angelina Ye, current class of 2019 IMG Academy student athlete, recently claimed the 2018 Annika Invitational title and had the opportunity to sit down with the Golf Channel's Morning Drive host, Damon Hack, and Annika Sorenstam. This tournament was Ye's first AJGA Invitational win, and she describes her game, the tournament, and more on the set!
1. Describe the moment before the last hole at the ANNIKA Invitational – what thoughts are going through your head?
"Although I was not sure if I was leading, there was definitely a lot of pressure. 18 is a long and difficult hole with water down the left side, so I told myself, keep my tempo, keep it safe, and keep my focus on this upcoming drive and only this shot. Just hit it on the fairway and try to make par, it doesn’t matter what Lucy or someone else in the groups in front might have done. I took a lot of deep breaths to calm down. I picked a specific target, a tree trunk, in the middle of the fairway, and tried to stick to my routine, not taking extra long over the ball. The ball ended up almost in the exact same position as the second round, so I felt a little more confident because I had already hit a similar shot and made birdie the previous day. I hit a good shot to about 15ft and made par."
2. Who’s your biggest role model / influence, either in golf or overall and why?
"My biggest role model is probably Lydia [Ko]. I think although I grew up watching Tiger, Mickleson, Annika, and Lorena Ochoa, I was too young to really understand and appreciate their greatness and achievements. But, when Lydia became the youngest player to win the on the LPGA tour, I was competing more seriously, and she became my role model. And then she exceeded all expectations and became the youngest major winner and youngest world number one golfer. She really inspired me, and I wanted to be like her."
3. What is your dream course to play on in your career, why?
"Augusta National, because it doesn’t host any LPGA tournaments, and it's just so iconic. Although hopefully it will one day host a women’s major."
4. Describe your time at IMG Academy and training in such a diverse atmosphere.
"I really enjoy training at IMG. I think its a good balance between school and golf, and the teachers are very supportive, so I don’t have to worry about missing school during tournaments, and I can just focus on golf. In terms of training, I think it's great that I get to practice with some of the best juniors. We play matches and do drills together, which keeps practice interesting and engaging. We are constantly trying to beat each other, so that helps me improve. Also, in addition to my golf coach, with trainers, mental coaches, and nutritionists around to help me out, it’s a really comprehensive team. And they can help with different aspects of my tournament preparations and recovery. I think its also pretty cool with the international students here because I get to interact with different cultures."
5. If you could pick a dream foursome to play a round of golf with, who would be in the group?
"Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Lydia Ko - Jack Nicklaus because he holds the majors record; Tiger because he is Tiger and probably the first name I knew in golf; and Lydia because she's the youngest golfer to reach No. 1 and has really inspired me."