I would say Im pretty outgoing once you get to know me. Id say Im hardworking, and maybe funny, I like making my teammates laugh. 
-Jacob Presutti
“I would say I’m pretty outgoing once you get to know me. I’d say I’m hardworking, and maybe funny, I like making my teammates laugh.” -Jacob Presutti
Annabella Mireles


Golf Players share their travels and experiences with the sport.

Nearly filling the stands each season, UTEP welcomes fans from across the city, to support its college sports teams. Home games for sports such as basketball, volleyball or football make it easy for the community to attend, but that is not the case of golf. UTEP’s men’s and women’s golf teams travel out of town, and in some cases out of the state, for all their tournaments.   

While the teams do not get to showcase their skills in El Paso, the men’s and women’s golf teams also do not have the luxury of cheering fans, or even the physical support of their own families since their families are out of the country. Both UTEP golf teams, are entirely made up of college-level athletes from around the world, who migrated to the Sun City for the opportunity to play golf while they attend college.   

Sophomore Spaniard, Marta Romeu Chen, coming from Valencia; junior Daniela Chipchase native of Bogotá, Colombia; Jacob Presutti a junior, born and raised in Brampton, (the Flower City) Canada; and March Khaw, a senior from Burlington, Canada; have left their families and homes behind to pursue their goals. These athletes share how they adapted and the opportunities they now have, while playing in the States. 


The love these athletes have for the sport stemmed from their parents taking them often to the golf course when they were younger.  

“I started playing at around three or four, because both my parents played,” Chipchase said. “I have pictures of me in the stroller, in the back of the (golf) cart.”   

Not a fan of the sport at first, Romeu Chen remembers getting her first set of golf clubs at nine years old, and soon grew fond of it.  

“I started playing golf when I was six. My dad took me to the golf course, and I loved it,” Khaw said. “I played my first tournament when I was seven, and I learned that I love to compete. So, I played in a lot of tournaments since a young age.”  

Growing up, Presutti played both hockey and golf, starting at the young age of six. He was known as AAA hockey player and decided to play AA to be with his brother. Being a smaller kid, Presutti would often end up with concussions and did not feel that he was as good at hockey as he was at golf. In the end, he transitioned to golf, realizing that his passion for it encouraged the switch, not regretting the decision. 

From their first step on the course to their current college careers, the love that these athletes have for golf continues to grow, with aspirations to play like their favorite professional athletes. 

“When I’m playing golf, it’s like my peace,” Chipchase said. “When we go to practice, it is like my time to be me.”   

Besides following their parents’ footsteps, these athletes have found role models in other professional golf players, such as Lydia Ko, Adam Hadwin, Tiger Woods, and the Korda sisters. These athletes continue to inspire the students into playing at a higher level. 


Of all the adjustments the athletes had to make coming to the U.S., these four agree that not having their family is the hardest part. Being so far away from home, these athletes had to grow up, while also juggling academics, sports, and adjusting to a new country.   

“Not having them to support me every day was kind of tough, and I miss them a lot,” Khaw said. “It also makes you grow up when your mom doesn’t cook for you anymore or do your laundry.”  

The women’s team considers themselves a sisterhood, and as a support system that helps each other as they leave their own families thousands of miles away to play the sport they love. 

“Since you’re away from home, it’s always nice to have a second family and that’s what I feel like here,” Chipchase said.    

Being an all-international team, traveling home would take days, rather than hours, for these athletes just to see their families. From practices, to classes, tournaments, and everything in between, the bond these athletes share is special because it is the closest thing they have to a family.    

“That reflects how we care about this sport,” Romeu Chen said. “We are sacrificing too much to be here.”   

“It sucks sometimes just because I want to see my mom, dad, brother, and my dog,” Presutti said. “It makes the time that we spend together when I’m back home a little sweeter, just because I don’t get to see them as much now.” 

Although she had to travel far, Romeu Chen feels that America is a wonderful place to grow as a professional athlete, because in Spain there is no program offered where she can play golf and study simultaneously. Khaw shared that he loves El Paso because of its “good food” and “nice people.” Presutti shared that he likes America because he can play golf all-year, unlike his home in Canada where they receive a lot of snow.   

Presutti also shared that he used to play tournaments in America when he was twelve, but establishing in El Paso was a culture shock. Not knowing how to speak Spanish, it took Presutti some time to get adjusted. 


Each year, the UTEP golf teams travel to twelve tournaments, nearly dividing them evenly between the spring and fall semester. There is a tournament scheduled every week and a half to two weeks. 

Traveling has made it challenging, but not impossible for these college athletes to keep up with their schoolwork. With the help of their coaches, these athletes find time to balance golf and schoolwork and complete assignments in advance often, to not fall behind. Khaw shared that he has learned strong time management, which he struggled with during his freshman year.  

Both Presutti and Khaw shared with Minero Magazine that they have two favorite tournament locations that they traveled to in the Spring 2022-23 season.   

“I have two places that are my favorite, Bahamas and Hawaii,” Khaw said. “They were pretty sweet. I had a nice time on and off the course. It was sweet seeing the course and having it right by the ocean. It was a cool experience to see.”  

Although it has not been officially announced, Chipchase shared the potential of a college-level home tournament soon, hoping that the community will come out and show their support.

(Right to Left) Daniela Chipchase, Colmbian student, and Romeu Chen, Spanish student, are two out of seven golf players from the women’s golf team. (Annabella Mireles)


The teams promote tournaments through social media. They also keep their websites up to date with each player’s stats, tournament scores, scheduled matches, the team’s rosters (featuring seven female athletes and six male athletes) and more since fans are unable to travel alongside the team.   

“It’s very difficult to promote through the community because they cannot really go see you,” Romeu Chen said. “As we are traveling outside the state or the city, people are not going to follow you the same as they come to the university to see any other game.” 

Despite this, the athletes agree that playing at UTEP has been beneficial for their careers. As students they also have to balance school and traveling. For that, the Athletics Department assists the students, as they are in contact with their professors to notify them of their absences and make a detailed schedule for them to complete their course work on time without hurting their grades. 

“We have team workouts twice a week and then practice at a certain time every day,” Presutti said. “We are very schedule oriented.”  

 In her first year and a half attending UTEP, Romeu Chen is one of three players to compete in all ten tournaments. This season, she describes feeling both surprised and accomplished. She challenges herself each tournament and still worries whether she did a great job or not.   

“Every time we qualify, I get the stress of ‘what if I’m not going (to make it)?’” Romeu Chen said. “I get this pressure inside of me, but at the same time it’s like ‘Marta, you did this, you can do it again.’”   

Romeu Chen enjoys playing for UTEP and feels that her individual scores not only help her team but gives UTEP the status of a good-standing university. Romeu Chen has led UTEP as the top finisher in two of their tournaments, one of which included the Conference United States of America (C-USA) Championship. She is always trying to become a better player to give UTEP women’s golf a name.    

In Chipchase’s career at UTEP, she has been named “Conference USA (C-USA) Golfer of the Week,” presented by Blenders Eyewear. She is pleased with herself for this accomplishment and says that her “hard work has paid off.” In Khaw’s golf career, he was named UTEP’s Top Finisher, and placed in the top ten twice.  

As of spring 2023, Chipchase and Khaw are redshirt athletes, with injuries not allowing them to compete in tournaments for the season. Nonetheless, this journey has helped them heal and train, both mentally and physically, for the next year. 


March Khaw is a Canadian college student majoring in marketing.(Annabella Mireles)

A typical game of 18 holes can last anywhere between four to five hours. Each par has a different time frame, with par 3’s usually lasting thirteen minutes, par 4’s at fifteen minutes and par 5’s at seventeen minutes. A par in golf is the number of strokes expected to complete a single hole, according to an article from Independent Golf Reviews.    

In comparison to other sports, each golf course differs from the last one, forcing the player to think about how the terrain might affect their shot and find a counter action.  

“When you play football, soccer, you always play in the same field, like the same measurements. When you play golf, every course is different,” Romeu Chen said.  “Every shot is different.”   

All four athletes describe golf as a “mental” and “individual” sport. Although there are other teams present, they are in competition with themselves, trying to beat their previous rank. Nonetheless, these athletes are there for one another, cheering their teammates on.   

“We get four years of pushing each other and trying to be the best for each other,” Presutti said.  

These UTEP athletes advise that if not in the right headspace, the game could be poorly affected. In addition, climate can also affect each player’s performance.  

“You mentally have to be really prepared for it,” Romeu Chen said. “It’s not only you hit the ball and that’s it. You really have to think about all the things that go into it: the wind, the slope, everything. You have to keep pushing and pushing to get the result that you want. I like that I don’t have to depend on anyone else to do the job that I have to.” 

Although these athletes are a team, the play individually and their scores are what help the team thrive. Rather than competing against other teams, golf challenges players to be in competition with themselves.  

“You don’t have to really compete against other people,” Khaw said. “You can just focus on competing against yourself and getting better on your own.” 


Chipchase, who originally started out as a business management major, switched to a communications major a year into her studies here at UTEP. She feels that choosing communications as a major was a strategic move because it is a “broad subject,” and can lead her to many other ways in life. Romeu Chen is an industrial and systems engineering major, with a minor in mathematics. Khaw is a marketing major, with a minor in entrepreneurship, hoping to own a marketing business. Presutti chose finance as a major, with a minor in economics, a decision he made to have a college degree as a backup in case he did not pursue golf and still be successful after graduation.  

While these athletes love playing golf, not all of them are sure it is what they want to do in the long run. For Chipchase, she knows that golf is hopefully in her future.    

“I am not sure what I want to do yet with my career,” Chipchase said. “All I know is that I love to play golf, and I would like to pursue golf professionally.”   

Khaw and Presutti, also see themselves playing golf in the future, striving to one day become professional athletes.  

Romeu Chen, on the other hand, is not certain about making golf her career path. Romeu Chen says she sees just how difficult it is to make it as a professional athlete, especially for women in America. In such a competitive industry, she sometimes feels discouraged. Playing for UTEP, Romeu Chen has been able to challenge herself and see if she has what it takes to become a professional athlete.   


Traducido por Yoali Rodriguez 


A pesar de que estos equipos no tienen la oportunidad de enseñar sus talentos a la comunidad estudiantil y de El Paso, los equipos de golf femenil y varonil de UTEP han creado una fuerte alianza fuerte entre ellos los ayuda a seguir su pasión por el deporte. Compuesto completamente de atletas de diferentes partes del mundo, estos han encontrado la oportunidad de crecer como atletas y preparse profesionalmente. 

Marta Romeu Chen, proveniente de Valencia, España, aprendió a amar el deporte con los años gracias a sus padres. Compartiendo como uno de sus primeros recuerdos de golf fue cuando sus padres le compraron su primer set de palos de golf cuando tenía tan solo nueve años. 

Jacob Presutti, nacido en Brampton, Canadá, también creció practicando deporte, empezando su pasión desde los seis años. Presutti al principio era conocido como jugador de hockey, y poco después como golfista. Después de varios años y algunas contusiones, Pressuti sacrificó el hockey y enfocó su amor hacia el golf. 

Dejar su hogar la mayor parte del año es una de las partes más dolorosas de ser estudiante internacional. Muchos de estos atletas han tenido que aprender a estar lejos de casa, mientras se acostumbran a un nuevo país, manteniendo buenas calificaciones, y practicando su deporte. Daniela Chipchase, nativa de Bogotá, Colombia, expresó como su equipo se ha convertido en una segunda familia, y en un gran apoyo durante este capítulo de sus vidas.  

Romeo Chen menciona la oportunidad que les han dado en Estados Unidos de crecer y seguir practicando golf, expresando como en su país no ofrecen programas donde puedes estudiar y practicar deportes simultáneamente.  

 Cada año, los equipos de golf tienen doce torneos en total durante los semestres de primavera y otoño. Marcus Khaw, originario de Burligton, Canadá, compartió que los lugares favoritos que han visitado eran Hawaii, las Bahamas, y el Caribe, lo cual hace el estar en Estados Unidos, una experiencia placentera.  

Apesar de haber obtenido grandes reconocimientos durante su tiempo en UTEP, estos atletas descubrieron que el apoyo más difícil de conseguir viene a nivel local. Los dos equipos se han encargado a promocionar sus torneos en redes sociales y en la página web de UTEP Athletics, alentando a estudiantes de UTEP que los sigan durante sus torneos y sus logros. 

Aunque algunos de ellos no saben si seguir su amor por el deporte profesionalmente después de acabar sus estudios, cada uno estos estudiantes han expresado gran gratitud hacia la comunidad de UTEP y sus familias por el apoyo incondicional que les han brindado. 


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