For golfer and University of Colorado graduate Alexis Keating, family, faith, and love for the game formed the foundation for where she is today.
Keating, who qualified for the upcoming U.S. Women's Amateur Championship after shooting a 1-under par 70 at Fort Collins Country Club on July 7, talked about some of the reasons for her success.
"I have the most supportive parents ever," Keating said. "I asked my dad at 6 years old if I could play a golf tournament. It's pretty hard to find a golf tournament for a 6 year old, but he found one, and signed me up and that's just kind of how my entire career in golf has gone."
It was Keating's mother, Michele, who actually got her father, Mark, interested in golf, and Keating has a great appreciation for her parents' support.
"If I want to go for something, they're right there with me the entire way, and are 100 percent supportive, and they will truly do anything that they possibly can to help me achieve my dreams and my goals. And so, they've been a huge part of why I'm standing here today," Keating said.
As far as competition goes, Keating said that she still gets nervous, but when she's at her best she's feeling calm.
"Golf, I've played my entire life and I still, to this day, get a little butterfly in my stomach on the first tee," Keating said. "I don't think it's that I'm scared obviously. It's just that I love this game so much, and it means so much to me. I feel so blessed that I get the opportunity, and that God has blessed me with the talent to be able to play this game."
In Fort Collins, Keating felt like it was one of the first times she was just playing for herself without the added stress of academics or competing for the university's golf team.
"I would say the feeling that I had over everything was just feeling very calm. My mom was with me and she was caddying for me. So I had her with me, and I just finished up school, so there was just a lot of that stress from the end of the year that was gone," Keating said.
In addition to qualifying for the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, which will be held Aug. 1-7 at the Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa., Keating was also nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award that honors graduating female college athletes for their academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service, and leadership.
"Honestly, when I was told about it I didn't know what to say really," Keating said. "It was just a shock because everybody works so hard in college in the classroom and then their sport, and you never really expect it to be you I guess.
"It's really an awesome deal and a pretty big award. So I never thought that I'd be the one being nominated for it, but I'm just so grateful for the people that noticed my hard work at Colorado and wanted to reward me with that for it."
Keating now has her sights set on the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.
"I just want to take it one day, one hole at a time. One shot at a time. So that's going to be kind of my demeanor in it," Keating said. "I'm just going to go enjoy it. It could possibly be my last amateur tournament so I'm just going to kind of go with it, and try to keep that calm demeanor I had in the qualifiers that worked out pretty well for me."