Sophomore Daniela Ortiz hopes to improve from her impressive freshman year. The golfer has already started out the year with an individual win at the Yale Intercollegiate Invitational on Sept. 21.
Ortiz is an international student form Morelia, Mexico who has grown up around golf. She started playing golf with her father at the young age of seven.
Ortiz first picked up the game of golf as a hobby and something that she could enjoy with her dad. Eventually she began to take lessons and compete in tournaments in Mexico.
Last year Ortiz came to NSU on an athletic scholarship, hoping to improve her game. The first couple of months proved to be very difficult for her as she had to adjust to a very different culture. The hardest parts of the move was learning English, and being able to successfully manage her time.
However, these obstacles did not prevent her from having a more than successful freshman year on the golf course. In the fall, she finished in fourth place out of 80 golfers at her first collegiate tournament. A little less than a month later she secured her first collegiate tournament victory at the annual NSU Shark Invitational, helping her team to win the tournament.
Her success continued into the spring segment of the season where she was named a First-Team All-American by the National Golf Coaches Association. Ortiz was also selected as Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year as well as being selected to the All-SSC First-Team. During the last part of the season, Ortiz finished second, 12th, and third in the SSC Championship, NCAA Super Regional II and NCAA Championships respectively. Her efforts helped the women’s golf team to win a fourth consecutive national championship.
I sat down with Ortiz and asked her a few questions:
What is your goal for this year?
I would like to improve my golf, lower my score average and get a couple of individual wins and, as a team, I think we can win the National Championship again if we keep practicing and keep working very hard.
How close are you to your teammates?
I think that we are really close. We support each other with everything, not just with golf but with school too.
Is there a difference between playing in the United States and in Mexico?
When I used to play in Mexico, it was always the same girls. The level here in the U.S. is so much higher with better players. It forced me to change my work ethic in order to compete.
Who is your favorite pro athlete?
I admire Lorena Ochoa. She is not only good at golf but is a really nice person.
What is your favorite pre-tournament meal?
We have this thing that before the last day of competition we eat pasta. I don’t know why but we always play well when we eat pasta the night before.