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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    W-golf heads into 1st tourney without Walshe

    As the Arizona women’s golf team practiced Wednesday afternoon at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort, something seemed to be missing from what was otherwise an ordinary day.

    It was the absence of star player Alison Walshe from the team as she is spending the next four days up in Rancho Mirage, Calif., participating in the 2008 LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first of the four Majors.

    In what has been a strong season so far for the Wildcats, they will now play in their first tournament without Walshe as they head to Tempe to participate in the PING/ASU Invitational, a par-72, 54-hole event which starts today.

    Without question, the Wildcats’ strong point this year has been their team style of play. While most of their competitors have relied on star players to pick up the rest of the team, the Wildcats have played together, usually within a few strokes of each other in any given tournament. In all but one tournament this year the Wildcats have finished with no worse than a 20-stroke difference between the team’s top finisher and their fifth participant. This statistic has been the key reason why the Wildcats continually compete with the top teams.

    “”Playing as a team is definitely our strong point,”” Walshe said earlier in the season. “”We don’t like to rely on just one person. If one person falls down, there is someone there to pick them right up.””

    Even with Walshe being the team leader, who has seven top-10 finishes this season, every player plays a huge role in the team. Freshman Alejandra Llaneza has also had a big season, posting one top-10 and two top-20 finishes. Senior Mary Jacobs has one top-10 finish on the season and junior Amanda Wilson has two top-20 finishes.

    “”I think this is something special that we have that a lot of other teams don’t,”” Wilson said.

    The true test for the Wildcats, though, will be this weekend at the PING/ASU Invitational as they look for someone else to lead the pack.

    “”She is definitely the leader of the team, but there are four other players out there who have gotten it done all year,”” said UA head coach Shelly Haywood. “”We stressed team play out there to them before the season. There is a giant puzzle out there and they are all a piece.””

    Their style of play has allowed them to compete for a win in every tournament so far this season, and even without Walshe, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to hit the panic button.

    “”I know the team is going to do great at ASU,”” Walshe said. “”They have played well all year long.””

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