20 Questions With Cristina Corpus

Cristina Corpus is one of the top golfers in the country. Corpus and her San Jose State teammates are a few days away from competing for the 2008 Western Athletic Conference championship. After taking two midterms and going to practice, the sophomore from San Leandro visited for this edition of 20 Questions.

When did you first become interested in golf?

When my dad was baby-sitting me at the driving range, I was 4-years old. I was sitting on a stool and he was hitting balls. I was bored watching him. So, I tried to get his clubs and hit balls, too. I found it very interesting.

Did your dad play a lot of golf and when was the first time you beat him?

My dad played a lot. I think I was 7-years-old and it was at Monarch Bay (San Leandro, Calif.) a 9-hole course. Every day we would go there and practice until sunset. That was cool because I got to skip homework.

Who are some of your favorite players?

Of course, Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa. My first idol was Dorothy Delassin. I got her first autograph before she turned pro.

What are some of your favorite golf courses?

Castlewood (in Pleasanton), for sure that’s my home course. Los Altos, Almaden because they’re challenging. It’s also tough, but a good challenge for us. Stanford now I got to overcome my fear of the course. I used to not like it.

What gives you more pleasure when you a re playing a perfect drive, a great approach shot from the fairway or holing out a long putt for birdie?

For sure, making a long putt. That’s gives me a lot of confidence. If I make more putts, I’ll have a better score and that’s the money.’

Tell us about some of the practice facilities you and the team use.

Castlewood for me only. ; We also go to Almaden Country Club, Los Altos and Coyote Creek. Sometimes we go to The Villages for wedge practice. I’m in my second year in the Junior Merit program at Castlewood. They have about 100 people apply to the Junior Merit program and they pick 10. Then, they narrow it down to five. My coaches helped me get in there (Junior Merit program).

You and your teammates have to deal with transportation to get to practice. What’s it been like to see gasoline prices increasing as fast as they have?

I’m lucky, because my parents pay for my gas. My dad’s telling me to drive slower and save gas. I just leave earlier. As a freshman, I would drive the speed limit. Last summer, I was driving faster. Now, I have to save gas because it’s too expensive.

You’ve had a chance to play in the United States and the Philippines. Have you played in any other countries?

No. In the Philippines, it’s less competitive. I gained a lot of confidence there. I have a feeling that I can win. Here, there are a lot players better than me.

How difficult is it to win a college golf tournament?

Pretty tough. There are a lot of good competitors. You’ve got to play you’re A-game all the time. You can’t control other people’s scores.

What golf club is most comfortable in your hands?

My putter. It’s got a flat-squared head, a regular putter. I’ve used it for four years.

What is one of the most misunderstood rules in golf?

Dealing with hazards. People tend to mix up rulings with red stakes and yellow stakes. Whether it is a lateral hazard or a water hazard. I usually call over a rules official.

What is the strongest part of your game?

It’s a tie between putting and driving. I’m accurate with my drives. I’m improving (my putting a bit). I improved a lot with my driving since I’ve been here. When I first came here; I didn’t hit many fairways. Now I’m 77 percent hitting it in the fairway.

How far can you hit the ball off the tee?

The farthest was 280 yards (at altitude). It’s the timing of the swing. If you look at the LPGA Tour and Mi Hyun Kim, she’s so small, but she can hit it 250-260. I don’t know how she does it, but it’s the timing of it and she works out a lot. I don’t work out much, but if you have good contact and perfect timing, the ball is going to go far.

What is your most enjoyable class this semester?

English 1A. It’s just a fun class.

What do you see in your future?

I really want to turn pro. That’s the first thing on my mind. My second plan would be to work for my dad. (Ed). He’s a realtor. He has a company Assist-to-Sell.

What is your opinion about college golfers playing 36 holes in a day?

It’s tiring. I used to like it to get a tournament over with (tournaments are 54 holes). Now, it’s getting harder. I think I should work out three times a week.

Since you play 36 holes in a day, you have to eat while you’re playing. I can’t think of another sport in which you can eat and compete at the same time. What do you eat when you play?

Bananas, almonds, cashews, power bars. After a round, I’ll eat a sandwich, drink a lot of Gatorade & water. Last year, as a freshman I didn’t eat much. My coach would say what’s wrong with you? You should eat! I was so strong then. Now, if I don’t eat, I’ll feel like I’ll pass out.

What would be your favorite dinner?

A steak, medium well with A-1 sauce, mashed potatoes, broccoli and triple chocolate cake for dessert.

When you are competing, your round and practice can end early in the day. What kind of things do you and your teammates do with the rest of the day?

Do my homework and study. If I have time, I chat with my roommates. I live in the Campus Village.

Have you determined your plans for summer golf?

I will try and qualify for the (Ladies) U.S. Open. In June, I’ll try to qualify for U.S. Amateur. Those are the two tournaments on my mind right now. I’m going to summer school and take English 1B.

Since you’re from San Leandro, are you compared to former San Jose State star Pat Hurst, who also graduated from San Leandro High School and is one of the players in the world?

It’s great. She also went to San Leandro (HS). People would say, “you’re following in her footsteps. I’m trying.’ When I go to Monarch Bay, you’re from San Jose State. That’s where Pat Hurst went to school. It’s like we’re partners.

I met Pat for the first time during my senior year in high school when there was a Pro-Am. I thought she was up there and a big star. She was humble and down to earth.

How much have your coaches John and Dana Dormann improved your game?

They’ve helped me dramatically with my short game. Every day they tell me to work on my short game putting and pitching. That’s where the money is. Also, my teammates help me with my golfing. I always ask them for help.

But, you’re one of the more experienced players on the team and you ask the younger players for help?

There’s always something I can learn from other people. I want to get as many tips as possible, gather all that information, improve my game and rise to a greater level. They not only help me with golf, but also for academics. Kanika (Minocha), Kim (Punyassavatsut) (Erica (Moston) and Kat (Delen Briones) they’re all so smart. I look up to them all the time like older sisters. If I have any troubles, they help me out.

This week’s 20 Questions was brought to you by The Grill On The Alley.

Past 2007-08 20 Questions
August 22 - Colleen Burke, Women's Volleyball
September 12 - Nick Cukar, Men's Soccer
September 26 - Amber Silverstone, Women's Tennis
October 17 - Jillene Golez, Women's Swimming
October 24 - Kelly Crow, Volleyball
October 31 - Heather Oranje, Women's Soccer
November 14 - Richard Mann, Men's Soccer
November 21 - Amanda Carr, Women's Swimming
November 28 - Pam DeCosta, Women's Basketball
December 12 - Eileen Daley, Academic Services
December 19 - Holiday Edition
January 2 - DaShawn Wright, Men's Basketball
January 9 - Tim Pierce, Men's Basketball
January 16 - Raylyn Cardeno, Women's Gymnastics
February 13 - Kasey Igarta, Softball
February 20 - Beste Erener & Katey Nelson, Women's Swimming
March 5 - Kanika Minocha, Women's Golf
March 12 - Jennifer Williams, Women's Tennis
March 26 - Casey Jay, Women's Gymnastics
April 16 - Cristina Corpus, Women's Golf