Freshman Julie Houston has made UTSA golf history and isn’t stopping there. Houston is the first player in program history to win two consecutive tournaments, and the second to win two titles in one season.
Her first win came in New Braunfels at the “All There August Challenge” going one-over-par 214. The second came in Corpus Christi at the “Islanders Classic” going one-under-par 215.
Because of her excellent play, Julie has been recognized twice as the C-USA women’s golfer of the week. Despite the individual heights Houston has already achieved, her goal is to help the team win the conference tournament and hopefully nationals someday.
The team is certainly on track to accomplish her conference goal, a feat that UTSA has not achieved since winning the Southland Conference Championship in 2012.
Houston attributes this success to the positive attitude the team has helped her cultivate during her time here.
“I try to have a good outlook on things, because this game can bring you down,” said Houston.
“Confidence is the biggest key; confidence will help you come back from bad breaks. When you win, you’re just playing your game not trying to make anything happen. That’s when you play your best.”
This positive energy the team has imparted on Houston is one of the things that brought her to UTSA.
Houston received offers from colleges far and wide, but claims she “knew [she] was in the right place because of the support network.” She explained that being on a team like this one sparks everyone’s competitiveness and helps each member’s development.
“The positive outlook in golf carries over into life,” said Houston. “It makes me more confident and positive every day.”
While Julie views golf as the main portion of her life, she balances a busy tournament schedule with the rigors of college classes.
In addition to her golf obligations, she is pursuing a Business degree, taking fifteen hours a semester. Through this difficult transition from high school to college competition, Julie points to her parents as a source of support.
“My parents are 100% behind my playing golf. They are the best supporters I could have.”
Houston stumbled into golf after being a competitive gymnast for years. Her brother introduced her to the sport while working at a golf course in her hometown of Allen, Texas.
Julie soon realized her natural talent and fell in love with the game.
Between back-to-back tournament titles, Houston’s love of the game has been put to the test in a couple of crucial moments. The first was in her initial outing for the team, where she was competing as an individual.
“I wanted to help the team and that lit a fire to prove myself to the team and coaches,” stated Houston. “The last day I didn’t play well and only won by one shot. The mistakes helped me regain focus and play really well in the second tournament.”
Her next crucial moment came in the second round of that second tournament. Houston opened the day four-under-par, and by the last hole, she needed a birdie to make it one-under-par.
As her run at the tournament came down to the last putt, she sank the putt to clinch her second title victory.
“In the second round, I was not making birdies as conditions got harder,” Houston explained. “It’s a huge mental game in these moments and I just had to stay calm.”