EDINBURG, Texas (Valley Central) – Albert Ochoa will be one of eight inductees into the 2022 RGV Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The Edinburg class of ‘95 alum was twice All-State and four-time All-Region for golf before he played at the collegiate level at Texas Christian University (1995-99).
“High school golf was a lot of fun because I was winning everything,” Ochoa said. “I was on another level without being arrogant about it, but it was really fun because I was winning constantly. No matter where I went, it just worked out that way.”
TCU was where Ochoa’s golf career blossomed. During his time in Forth Worth, Ochoa was named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, a two-time All-American and was ranked 2nd among collegiate golfers nationwide in 1997.
Graduating early from the University in 1999, Ochoa joined the PGA with hopes to become a professional golfer. That summer, he competed in the U.S. Open, alongside a young Tiger Woods.
“At that time, we were working with the same golf teacher, Butch Harmon,” Ochoa said. “We talked a little bit about that. We talked about college golf. We talked about PGA golf, which I was not on the tour yet. It was a nice conversation. He was really enjoyable to be around. We had a great lunch and then we were off to play.”
Ochoa would only go on to play in one other PGA event. Most of his time was spent playing on the developmental mini-tours put on by the PGA before an injury ended his 4-year professional career. However, watching some of his former teammates and competitors brings him as much joy today as it did back then.
“There’s many of them out there that I used to play with, compete with and beat,” Ochoa said. “It’s fun to watch them when they’re playing at their best and they’re on the leaderboard.”
Today, Albert owns his own construction company, AOJ Construction & Development, LLC. When he is not in the office, Ochoa has found a new joy that keeps him on the course: teaching his son the game he once played.
“A few years ago, my son decided he wanted to get into golf,” Ochoa said. “I set him up with the right equipment. After work, maybe every other day or sometimes everyday, we go to the golf course, and I start working with him and teaching him to try and get him better at it.”
“I really enjoy watching him practice and play. I see his improvements every year. He’s growing, and I’m hoping he’ll someday follow in the same footsteps as me,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the rest of the inductees tomorrow, July 9th, at the Brownsville Convention Center.