With a calm and cool demeanor, Ironwood Ridge's Alex McMahon has become one of Southern Arizona's rising golf stars.

As a junior, McMahon placed fourth at the Class 5A-II individual state championship. This year, McMahon was eighth at the Antigua National High School Invitational in Phoenix.

Equally impressive are McMahon's academic accomplishments. He's ranked eighth in his class of more than 400 students, and boasts a GPA of 4.5 and a SAT score of 2,190 out of a possible 2,400.

McMahon keeps everything in perspective and never takes his eye off his goals: to either be a professional golfer, or a Wall Street trader.

"I try to not get too high or too low," said McMahon, who will compete today at the two-day CDO Open at Saddlebrooke Ranch Golf Course "I'd like to pursue golf as far as it will take me. I love this game, but at the same time I know that it's hard to turn professional so I want to have a good education to be able to fall back on."

The senior is choosing between the University of Michigan and the University of Arizona for golf and wants to study either business or economics.

McMahon has a bright future no matter what school he goes to, or what profession he finds himself in, coach Ryan Bais said. "I wish I could buy stock in Alex McMahon's future," he said, "because he's a good person and he's going to do great things whether it's golf or not."

McMahon is serious about golf and his studies, not letting success or failure distract him. Those attributes make him a strong golfer and a good student. Here are three reasons McMahon has excelled at both:

1. An even-keel attitude.

"You can't let bad shots get to you out there, and even good ones for that matter. You have to stay level to be successful," he said.

2. A workman's approach.

"I take it seriously when I'm on the course," he said. "I know when I'm out there I have a job to do and I want to do the best job I can."

The same goes for school.

"I'll get up at around 7 every day, work out, go to school, after school is practice, then I'll come home eat dinner and get straight to my homework."

3. Knowledge of the fundamentals.

"He knows his swing so well that if he messes something up I don't even have to correct him," Bais said. "He's so easy to coach because he knows what he's doing."


What: CDO Open

Who: 10 teams from across Arizona, including Canyon del Oro, Ironwood Ridge, Salpointe Catholic and Mesa Mountain View

When: First round today starting at 10:35 a.m. Final round begins Saturday at 10:03 a.m.

Where: Saddlebrooke Ranch Golf Course