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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Athlete of the week: Alison Walshe

    UA junior golfer Alison Walshe has her eye on the ball as she gets ready to swing during practice at Oro Valley Country Club. Walshe, who transferred from Tulane after Hurricane Katrina won the first golf tournament of the season on Sunday in the Mason Rudolph Championship in Nashville, Tenn.
    UA junior golfer Alison Walshe has her eye on the ball as she gets ready to swing during practice at Oro Valley Country Club. Walshe, who transferred from Tulane after Hurricane Katrina won the first golf tournament of the season on Sunday in the Mason Rudolph Championship in Nashville, Tenn.

    Editor’s Note: Women’s golfer Alison Walshe won the Mason Rudolph Championship featuring 13 teams in the top 25 Sunday and led the No. 12 Wildcats to a fourth-place finish. The junior shot a 6-under-par 210 for the tournament, including a 6-under 67 in the final round. Walshe talked to the Wildcat about winning the tournament, her golf idols and who she thinks should start at running back for the football team.

    Wildcat: So after being on the Arizona golf team for not even a month, you win the first tournament of the year as a Wildcat. Must have been pretty exciting. Tell me what was going through your head when you won.

    Alison Walshe: It was just really, really great because it was my first tournament back after a year off, especially winning it as part of the Arizona team with all the great players, like (UA head) coach (Greg Allen) said. I’m full of excitement.

    DW: Going into the season, did you have any expectations about what you wanted to accomplish this season?

    AW: I wanted to be an All-American again, and I wanted to win at least three tournaments.

    DW: Did you have any doubts late in the tournament about whether or not you could win?

    AW: No. I’ve played with those girls for a while, and I think I can play with them. I kept assuring myself confidence, confidence, and now I have a little more confidence.

    DW: What kind of practice do you put into your golf game in the offseason?

    AW: I live at home in Boston during the winter, so the weather is cold. I work out a lot, doing a lot of flexibility things, and then I go indoors with my coach and we work on a lot of swing mechanics without actually hitting the ball. It actually helps out a lot. In summer, I enter a lot of events just to stay in high competition, and I meet with my instructor a couple times a week, and we just go over basic mechanics.

    DW: After one solid tournament, tell me some of the differences between playing at Arizona versus Tulane.

    AW: I think the one big difference is we’re a stronger team, and playing with stronger teammates just makes you a better player.

    DW: Now for some random questions: Does your team ever golf against the men’s team? And if so, do the guys ever lose?

    AW: Ha-ha. We never really play really serious with them. We practice together sometimes, but we’ve never really kept score. We’ll have to do that next time.

    DW: How good is your golf game on “”Tiger Woods ’06″”?

    AW: Pretty good. My brother is really good, so I’m practicing.

    DW: Do you get mad when people say that golf isn’t a real sport?

    AW: I do, because if you’re an athlete and you say that, I want to see you try and hit a golf ball. You will whiff, I guarantee it.

    DW: Who are your golf idols?

    AW: Man, that’s a tough question. I really like Arnold Palmer. He’s from where I came from in the Northeast. I think he’s got great sportsmanship, and he was a great player, so I look up to him.

    DW: Is your coach, Greg Allen, the nicest guy in Tucson, or is it just me?

    AW: Ha-ha. He’s the nicest guy in Tucson.

    DW: I need to work on my golf game. Sometimes when I swing at the ball, I flat-out miss, and other times I hit the ball and it goes 20 feet to the left or right. One time I even let go of my club and almost killed a guy. What’s your advice for me and other frustrated golfers worldwide?

    AW: Ha-ha. Just have patience and keep your head down.

    DW: Is your dream job to play in the LPGA one day?

    AW: Definitely.

    DW: Should Michelle Wie switch to the LPGA?

    AW: Yes, she needs to win on the LPGA before she plays with the guys.

    DW: Who would win in a fight between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson?

    AW: Phil Mickelson because he’s huge, like physically fat.

    DW: After winning that tournament, let’s see how much you’ve been paying attention to the rest of your fellow Arizona Athletics. Who should start Saturday for Arizona football against USC, Chris Henry or Chris Jennings?

    AW: Chris Henry. Is that wrong?

    DW: Why do you say that?

    AW: Ha-ha. I don’t know, I just guessed. I don’t know; there’s nothing wrong with the other guy. I don’t know the Arizona athletes very well yet. I’m getting to know them. Who should I have chosen?

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