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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wilson guides UA women’s golf team through Hawaiian winds

    Going to Hawaii? You’ll probably need a tour guide.

    Arizona sophomore Amanda Wilson, a native of Hilo, Hawaii, played that role for the Wildcats.

    Wilson guided the No. 10 Arizona women’s golf team into first place after two rounds of play at the 22nd annual Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Oahu yesterday.

    As a team, Arizona is one stroke ahead of No. 18 Texas A&M after carding a 601 (25-over-par) after 36 holes.

    Wilson is currently tied for second individually after shooting an even-par 72 in the second round to total 147 (3-over-par).

    There is certainly reason to attribute her personal standing toward her comfort in her own home state.

    “”I love coming back,”” Wilson said. “”I came back early during spring break and met my team when they got here. Coming back is always awesome. I’ve got a lot of family and friends”” in Hawaii.

    Though she had never played on the par 72, 5,829-yard Kane’ohe Klipper Golf Course before, Wilson knew how to play with the Hawaii winds reaching 30 mph.

    “”She’s shared her local knowledge of how (the ball) breaks toward the ocean and gets pushed around,”” said junior Alison Walshe, who hit a 74 in both rounds.

    Walshe, ranked No. 8 individually, is tied for fourth with a total score of 4-over par 148.

    This knowledge of the wind strength is vital, considering three of the holes are located right off the Pacific Ocean, UA head coach Greg Allen said.

    The winds are nothing new to Wilson, who was a four-year letter winner, team captain and team MVP at Waiakea High School in Hilo, Hawaii.

    “”Hawaii people are used to playing in the wind because it’s always windy,”” she said. “”We know more than the mainland people, I’d say.””

    Wilson also taught her team about the ball movement on the Bermuda grass, which is different from the movement in continental America.

    “”There’s a lot of green in the greens,”” Wilson said. “”It’s the direction the grass is growing, it takes the ball. They don’t have that in the mainland.””

    This was a self-proclaimed breakout performance by Wilson, who has “”recaptured”” her swing after finishing 17-over-par 213 on Feb. 27, the Wildcats’ last competition. They finished in eighth place in their own Arizona Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, finishing 39 strokes short of victorious No. 2 ASU.

    “”I’m excited to see her play well again,”” Allen said of Wilson. “”She definitely is used to playing in the wind, and she’s comfortable.””

    As a team, Arizona shot a 10-over par 298 on the front 18 holes, and a 303 on the back 18.

    Junior Mary Jacobs is tied for 21st after scoring a 155 (10-over-par). Sophomore Adriana Zwanck is one stroke behind Jacobs (11-over-par), while freshman Brittany Benvenuto is in 62nd place with a two-round total of 165 (20-over-par).

    The final round is being played today, with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. Hawaii time.

    “”We just need to make the most of our opportunities,”” Allen said. “”There are a few par-5s that are down wind, and we certainly need to make birdie on those.””

    As for Wilson, she’s a “”great tour guide,”” Walshe said.

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