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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Women balance golf, school on long road trip”

    And you thought it was difficult just balancing your schoolwork and social life.

    The No. 13 Arizona women’s golf team recently completed a whirlwind 4,820-mile trek to tournaments in Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla., that forced the team to miss an entire week of school.

    The Wildcats left Tucson Oct. 28 for the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown in Henderson, Nev., where the team competed Monday through Wednesday, then rushed to the airport immediately after completing the final round to catch an afternoon flight to Florida.

    The team flew all night across the country and landed in Orlando in the early morning hours of Thursday.

    After a partial practice round Thursday, the team competed in the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship Friday before flying home Saturday.

    The hectic travel schedule left many on the team scrambling to keep up with their schoolwork.

    Junior Alison Walshe, the winner of two individual titles this season, missed an exam while on the trip.

    “”I have to make it up,”” she said. “”It’s definitely more stress than I needed.””

    Walshe, like most of her teammates, brought her laptop with her to Las Vegas and wrote a paper after finishing the second round Tuesday. She e-mailed it to her professor Tuesday night and played the final round Wednesday morning.

    Free time was scarce on the trip as the team had to be up around 5 a.m. every day in order to get in some practice before their round. Rounds usually started at 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m. and lasted until noon.

    The Wildcats would grab a quick lunch before heading back out to the golf course to get some more practice. After their afternoon practice, the team would eat dinner together before returning to the hotel.

    UA head coach Greg Allen specifically planned early dinners so the team could get some work in, and Walshe said that by then they were all exhausted and would try to do a little homework before going to bed early in preparation for repeating the process the next day.

    Allen acknowledged that it was pretty hectic to balance golf and school but commended the players’ professors for understanding their situation.

    “”We’re pretty fortunate that most teachers are helpful and understanding of student-athletes’ schedules,”” he said.

    Allen said his players do a great job communicating with their professors to work out potential problems beforehand.

    It wasn’t all work and no play for the team, however. Walshe, along with several of her teammates, attended a show and walked around the strip while in Las Vegas. She had never been to Sin City before and said it was a fun experience.

    The team also met former UA golfer and current LPGA star Natalie Gulbis. Gulbis, who played for Allen in 2000, lives in Las Vegas and watched the Wildcats compete.

    Now that the fall season is over, Allen said school is the No. 1 priority for the rest of the semester.

    After establishing themselves as one of the elite teams in the country this season, the Wildcats hope to carry that positive momentum over the break. They are going to hit the weight room hard in preparation for the spring season.

    Because the NCAA limits offseason practice with coaches on the golf course to two hours a week, the team will mainly work out individually.

    “”Everyone knows what they need to work on to get ready for the spring,”” Walshe said.

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