Indovina presses on

Ryan Indovina doesn't care for yesterday. He yearns for what could be.

It doesn't seem to bother him that he's a 28-year-old incoming senior at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

He doesn't want to stop short of his goals. He doesn't want to stop playing golf.

The former Orange Coast College golfer could maybe stop and think what could've been. He had earned a roster spot to play on the basketball team at Illinois for Coach Bill Self. But he doesn't want to think about what-ifs, only what could be.

"I'm a little old to play Division II golf, but I love it," said Indovina, who received honorable mention in NCAA Division II PING All-American voting last season. "Why not do something I love? I can play golf and have a degree when I'm done. I want to own my own company some day. Golf is just going to be a release in my life. That's what I use it for, as therapy."

Recently, Indovina has had some good therapy. He hopes to have more when he competes in the U.S. Amateur Championship Aug. 23 through 29 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.

Stewart Hagestad, a Newport Beach resident, will also be in the field. He qualified out of Big Canyon Country Club.

Indovina won the qualifier at Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga on July 26.

"It's the opportunity of a lifetime and what all the hard work is for," Indovina said. "This is the No. 1 amateur tournament in the world and just to have a chance to play there and compete is an accomplishment in itself, but I'm going to go for it and see what happens."

It seems Indovina has always been known to go for it.

He grew up in Chicago and played basketball at a community college, Harper College in Palatine, Ill. Later he earned a roster spot on Self's team. But as a walk-on, he did not receive scholarship help. So he left the team, left Chicago and headed to California.

Indovina said he wasted some time by going to golf school in Temecula. He then moved to Laguna Beach, where he waited tables and played golf.

One day, he was hitting balls at Costa Mesa Country Club, where he met Sean Collins, the club's tournament director.

Collins is also the OCC men's golf coach. Soon, Collins was suggesting Indovina play for the Pirates.

After one season with the Pirates, Indovina transferred to Cal State Dominguez Hills.

"I've tried to help out Ryan as much as I can," Collins said. "Him going to Dominguez I had a lot of strings there. I told them to take care of him. He's done a good job of it, which is all you can ask for as a coach. You just hope he gets better. I'm proud of what he's done."

At Cal State Dominguez Hills, Indovina recorded four top-10 finishes and two top-20 finishes in the seven events in which he competed. He also was the medalist in a dual match against UC San Diego.

He was named the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. Newcomer of the Year and the All-CCAA first team.

Indovina, who tied for fifth at the Costa Mesa City Championship Aug. 8, has long-term goals and short-term ones. The U.S. Amateur is on his mind now, but he is also motivated to perform well in his senior season at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Last year at the NCAA Regionals, he came within one stroke of qualifying for the NCAA National Golf Championships.

The long-term goal for Indovina? He wants to play golf for a living. He hopes it could take him all over the world.

"I've never been outside the United States," he said.

Should he ever reach his goal, he pledges to remain level-headed. He's been through so much to get to where he is now, which makes it all a bit humbling.

"It's never going to go to my head," Indovina said of his success in golf. "This is a game that really humbles you very, very quickly. You never really think you are better than you are. You just let your sticks do the talking."

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