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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA golfer on path to LPGA

    UA golfer on path to LPGA

    Two and done. It has become almost a tradition for Arizona’s finest women’s golfers.

    Before beginning her hall-of-fame career, Annika Sorenstam spent two years in Tucson beginning in 1991.

    Nine years later, current world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa stopped by the University of Arizona for a couple seasons before leaving for the professional ranks.

    Most recently it was the standout transfer from Tulane University, Alison Walshe who left her mark on Arizona’s women’s golf program before beginning what promises to be an elite professional career of her own.

    Since making Arizona her choice two years ago, Walshe has led the Wildcats in every statistical category each season while also collecting several accolades from the Pacific 10 Conference, including being named to the All Pac-10 team both years.

    “”She’s definitely worked harder than I’ve ever seen out of a player,”” said head coach Shelly Haywood. “”But that’s a common quality of great players – they always are the ones who work harder than anyone else. (Walshe’s work ethic) is not any different than that of an Annika Sorenstam or Lorena Ochoa.””

    All of Walshe’s hard work has indeed been visible, as the recent interdisciplinary studies graduate was adorned with her second All-American selection last week by Golfweek magazine.

    The All-American selection was not Walshe’s only national honor – she was also selected to compete for the U.S. team in the Curtis Cup, an international women’s amateur tournament which took place two weeks ago in St. Andrews, Scotland.

    Walshe took advantage of the opportunity and went undefeated in the event, posting four wins to help lead the United States to a 13-7 victory over Great Britain and Ireland and the 2008 Curtis Cup championship.

    Despite just recently putting the finishing touches on her collegiate career, Walshe is already focusing on her road to the LPGA tour.

    The No. 5-ranked amateur by Golfweek took no time off from the sport as she participated in a U.S. Open qualifier Monday.

    Walshe made the cut and is listed to compete under amateur status in the championship tournament beginning June 26 at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn.

    But regardless of her outcome in the U.S. Open, Haywood said Walshe’s future still lies in the amateur ranks, at least for the fall.

    “”She’s been put on a very short list for the world amateur team which competes in Australia in October,”” Haywood said. “”So my understanding is she’ll remain an amateur through the fall and then go to LPGA qualifying school in November.””

    While Walshe begins her path to the LPGA, Haywood and Arizona are looking toward the future as well – one without a proven star.

    But according to Haywood, the future is bright for the Arizona program, which returns seven of its nine golfers from 2008.

    The Wildcats will also be gaining four freshmen, including the No. 1 juniors from Mexico and France, whom Haywood said should add some depth to an Arizona team that finished fourth in the Pac-10 Tournament this past season.

    “”We have a great recruiting class coming in so I’m not too worried about things,”” Haywood said. “”If they work hard and do the things they need to do I don’t see any reason why we can’t be ranked as high or higher than we were this year.””

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