By Krista Pirtle
Walking around a golf course on a beautiful day, you might hear Taylor Swift overflowing from a pair of headphones.
This may seem odd but with the leadership this player provides, he may have the whole Baylor men’s golf team listening to Swift.
Meet Career O’Rear.
Junior golfer Ryan O’Rear came in to Baylor University with impressive numbers and continues to amaze.
Pulling in a three-peat at the 2A Texas State golf meets in high school, Golfweek pinned him as the top golfer in Texas and No. 36 nationally.
This golf game didn’t come overnight as he grew up following his dad, current president of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, around the course.
His dad and his mom live only 30 minutes away and are O’Rear’s biggest support system both on the golf course but, more importantly ,in life as well.
“They normally come to most [tournaments]” O’Rear said. “They missed a couple this year because my sister had her first college tournaments, but they’re always there supporting me. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
On and off the green, O’Rear could pass for a completely different person. His game face is definitely on during his golf game, but off he’s a regular guy who likes to have fun.
“He’s competitive, serious, focused,” senior Joakim Mikkelsen said. “I would say driven. I think when he plays, he’s focused on the results. Off the golf course he’s all having fun, relaxed and being a good kid.”
During the offseason, O’Rear looks to get back to ping-pong and improve his golf game.
“Work hard,” O’Rear said. “Throw the football around, play some basketball, ping pong. Then I’ve got some things I need to work on for my golf game. We’ve got some high expectations. I just need to do a couple things with my swing and work on putting. It’s just some stuff that’s going to take time.”
O’Rear’s business major serves as a backup plan to his aspirations to play professionally.
Talent, which O’Rear has, is important in this career goal. Character and leadership complete the trifecta of what it takes to thrive at the professional level. O’Rear has those as well.
“The way you act on the golf course reflects you as a person to some degree,” Mikkelsen said. “He’s a good kid.”
However, if the professional dream doesn’t come true, a career in sports looks like a solid alternative.
“I want to work somewhere in sports,” O’Rear said. “I don’t really know where but somewhere.”
The way he has improved while at Baylor, the sports job might be on hold for his professional play.
Earlier this week, the golf team wrapped up the fall season at Royal Oaks where O’Rear led the team by a 3 under 213 to a sixth place finish.
“The thing that’s good about him is how competitive he his, and the fact that he doesn’t like to lose,” Mikkelsen said. “I think if you have the people you look up to, if they don’t care about the end result and doing well, I think that’s going to affect how the other guys think about things. He’s really concerned about how the team finishes as well as how he finishes. That’s contagious. He’s not happy finishing second or not doing well. People will follow his lead.”
O’Rear’s favorite golfer for most of his life has been Tiger Woods.
With his leadership, O’Rear could have the Baylor golf team jamming to Taylor Swift by the start of the season in February, looking to bring home a national championship.