March 10, 2009
Stanford senior Ki-Shui Liao has competed in four events so far this season for a scoring average of 80.3. Her top finish was last month at the Norman Grumman Regional Challenge where she finished tied for 50th. Last season, she competed in eight events (23 rounds) and had scoring average was 79.1. The Alameda, Calif. native is a communications major and hopes to turn professional after graduation.
She was gracious enough to sit down and answer some questions from gostanford.com.
What are your favorite golf courses in the world?
Cypress Point. I love the 16th hole. I even painted a watercolor of it in high school... when I played the hole, it was the exact view that I'd seen on the cover of the NCGA magazine with the ocean and the waves crashing into the cliff.
I also love the Castle Course at St. Andrews. Many people don't like it because the greens are ridiculous; they have elephants in the middle of the greens. That's why I love it. It's not a course that I'd want to be qualifying on, but it's one of those courses that if you are playing for fun, you can be so creative.
If you could hit a single shot anywhere- where would you play?
I'd want to play at the world ice golf championship in Greenland, I don't know the course, but they place on ice in lots of clothes and layers. They play 9 or 18 holes off of ice, the greens are shaved ice, I guess they use colored balls, because playing with white balls would be difficult.
How has being collegiate golf helped prepare you to turn pro?
During high school, I never worked out, I practiced two hours a day after school. Now, I wake up at 6:30 in the morning to work out, then I go to classes, and afterwards it's drills, and playing. My perspective has changed so much. In high school it is a steady routine, you don't realize all of the issues that you have to deal with. You realize how difficult it is to turn pro- when you are 10, you say, I want to be on the LPGA. But now, well, reality hits, and you realize all that is required to achieve the goal.
During the season, describe your typical day.
During the week, we have three days where we get out early: Fridays we get out at noon, and Mondays and Wednesdays we have to be done with class by 1. On those days we play 18 holes or play other courses. Those days are long classes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we can have class until 3:30 and then practice after that. We have morning workouts three times a week.
Has there been a change in types of workouts in your past 3 years.
My freshman year was a bit different because our current trainer came during my sophomore year. Jason Quan, our trainer, has been working on our strength, building strength and flexibility. He has learned more about our individual workouts. Once a week we split up and do personalized workouts, with individual attention. Flexibility wise, I couldn't touch my toes when I came, now I can touch my knuckles to the ground. laughter
What have been some of your favorite classes at Stanford?
Music 19: Intro to Music Theory. I enjoy learning about music and using instruments that aren't really related to music. We have lots of beats going. Can I borrow your pen? (She begins to tap a rhythm on the table) We'd have one person tapping like this and more join in. It's not actual music, but you coordinate it with lots of people. You have to compose it and play it together.
What athletes do you respect?
Any world class athlete because after coming to Stanford, I truly appreciated how hard it is to be a really good athlete. It is what you have to sacrifice, it is the dedication, from fitness, to what you eat, to how you train, it is the mental toughness combined with talent.
What is your most memorable moment in athletics?
Going to Scotland in September. The courses are so different, you learn to play in different ways. You can be so creative on the Scottish courses. My other favorite moment was our trip to Hawaii. We went a few days early, and we stayed at a really nice hotel with its own beach, on Oahu. It was my first time in Hawaii.
What sport other than golf would you like to play?
Table tennis... although, I used to play tennis. Tennis would be my second. Table tennis is serious... ping pong is people just having fun. I have fairly good reactions, and golf doesn't really require that reaction time, so maybe I'm missing out on a hidden talent.
What is your impression of Robert Trent Jones and the new practice facility?
I met him a few weeks ago; he was at the practice facility with Jay Blasi, and Golf Digest. Jay said hi, and suddenly Mr. Jones came up to me and said, "Hi, who are you? I'm Robert Trent Jones." We meet a lot of sponsors and friends of Stanford Golf, but most don't just come up and introduce themselves. We definitely want to say hi, but we don't want to bother them if they are practicing. It was so nice that he was so outgoing and open. He couldn't have done any better in designing the entire facility.