Golfer hits links in southeast Asia

This summer, sophomore Martin Liu went on a vacation that eventually took him to the place he cherishes the most: the golf course.

After visiting friends in Europe and working for a chemical company in his native China, Liu returned to the Hong Kong men’s team, which he initially joined at age 16, after being a standout in the local junior league.

With his second year on GW’s golf team approaching, Liu looked to take advantage of his spot on Hong Kong’s team to get back into season form. Although he shot a few strokes over par at the Southeast Asian Cup in Thailand, Liu saw the positives in taking his clubs off the shelf early.

“It was a really good warm-up,” he said in an interview this week. “I think it was a good formal tournament for me to start the season.”

Yet the event was more than simply a tuneup for GW, as it featured some of the region’s strongest competition.

“Basically the best players representing the countries of Southeast Asia are there,” he added.

Though Liu did not place in the tournament and did not play up to his expectations, he said he still feels a lot more comfortable going into the fall season.

He attributes his performance, at least in part, to his lack of practice during the summer. Both the fall and spring seasons are long and can take a toll on a golfer. Thus, Liu decided to take it easy at the beginning of the summer, enjoying himself on his trip through Europe. With the offseason over, however, Liu said he intends to step it up this year and become an intricate and consistent part of the GW golf team.

Liu said that, as a freshman last year, his preoccupation with adjusting to academics hindered his performance on the links. Now, after having a year under his belt and working on his game, he is setting the bar much higher for himself. His main objective is to qualify for every tournament, something he did not achieve last year.

Doing so would provide the next chapter in a life-long love of golf that began for Liu at age three. After playing through his youth and graduating high school, he took a year off to play full-time for Hong Kong, putting his aspirations of attending college in the U.S. aside for the time being.

Eventually, however, he began to pursue a higher education stateside and look for schools that offered the opportunity to learn and play at the same time. Liu then got into contact with former GW golf coach Scott Allen and decided he wanted to be a Colonial. He received a partial athletic scholarship, allowing him to parlay his love of sports into a part of his higher education experience.

“I don’t think I would want not to play golf in college,” he said. “I would lose a part of me.”

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