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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Golfer Walshe wins Nashville tournament, team finishes 4th”

    When Alison Walshe was on the final hole of the Mason Rudolph Championship yesterday in Nashville, Tenn., UA head coach Greg Allen reminded her that she was on top of the leaderboard.

    “”He was like, ‘Do you see those leader boards? Because they show that you’re up on this course,'”” Walshe said. “”Right then I knew that I was already in position to make the par.””

    Not only did she make the par on the 18th hole, Walshe also won the tournament in what she called the most competitive field she has played in, leading the No. 12 Arizona golf team to a fourth-place finish with a 11-over-par 875 in the event that featured 13 schools in the top 25.

    No. 1 Duke won the tournament by shooting a 1-under-par 863 for the weekend, finishing just ahead of No. 3 Georgia (2-over-par 866) and No. 7 UCLA (8-over-par 872).

    “”There were great players on the board,”” Walshe said. “”It felt really good because it’s a really great tournament, and it’s my first tournament back in a while since I couldn’t really play last year (after Hurricane Katrina interrupted the season). I was pretty excited.””

    Walshe finished by shooting a 6-under-par 67, which was a career low for her on an 18-hole course. It is her sixth collegiate win, as she won four times at Boston College and once at Tulane.

    “”She’s off to a great start,”” Allen said. “”She certainly put her name up there as one of the top players in college golf, and she will certainly make a run for college Player of the Year.””

    Walshe was five shots behind the leader going into yesterday’s play, and even she was surprised that she could come back and win.

    “”I didn’t really think I stood a chance,”” Walshe said. “”I was playing really well, and I guess I just caught up and won.””

    Two other Arizona golfers, sophomore Adriana Zwanck and junior Mary Jacobs, also finished in the top 20. Zwanck finished eighth, shooting an even-par 71 while Jacobs finished 16th, shooting 3-over-par 74.

    “”I think a lot of people didn’t really know what to expect out of us because of our new look,”” Allen said of the team’s new transfers, Walshe and Jacobs. “”But now with Mary, Alison and Audrey (Zwanck) – I’ll take those three players against any three players in the country. Now we just need to figure out our fourth and fifth players.””

    The fourth and fifth players this weekend were senior Rachel Gavin and sophomore Amanda Wilson, who finished 68th and 71st, respectively.

    “”Amanda is a solid player,”” Allen said. “”She didn’t play as well this weekend, but it was basically about four bad swings that cost her. Once she gets things figured out, she’ll be our solid fourth player.””

    Whoever the fourth and fifth players are could turn out to be one of the few problems Allen and his coaches encounter with his team this year, and Allen thinks it is a good problem to have.

    “”The thing I like having about so many good players is that when we’re at home playing against each other, they’re making each other better,”” he said, “”and that’s what we need, to have that competitiveness at home.

    “”The whole tournament was just a positive. For Alison to win this week puts her in the same record book as Annika (Sorenstam) and all the other great players to play for Arizona who have come through here and have won a college tournament.””

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