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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women’s golf faces flight dilemma on way to Match Play

    The plan was to head to the Las Vegas airport after the final round Wednesday afternoon and catch a 3:15 pm flight to Orlando, Fla.

    But in Arizona college golf, things seldom go according to the flight plan.

    The No. 8 Arizona women’s golf team played the final round of the Las Vegas Founders Collegiate Showdown, a round that UA head coach Greg Allen said “”took forever.””

    Immediately after finishing the round, the Wildcats began their mad dash to the airport, Allen said, as they were headed to Orlando for the Hooters Women’s Collegiate Match Play Championship that begins today and continues until Sunday.

    The Wildcats made it to the airport just minutes before take-off and most of the team was able to rush through security and board the plane just in time.

    Redshirt senior Rachel Gavin was not as fortunate. A holdup at the ticket counter caused Gavin, along with Allen – who stayed behind with his player – to miss the flight.

    The luggage belonging to the players on the plane did not make it either.

    Most of the team, sans luggage, arrived in Orlando at 2 a.m. Thursday morning. Their coach and Gavin caught the red-eye, and along with the team’s luggage arrived seven hours later.

    The team then grabbed its golf bags and headed out for its practice round on the par-73, 7,198-yard Eagle Creek Golf Club course.

    The whole episode is reminiscent of the men’s golf team’s ticketing mix-up. The men bought the wrong plane tickets back in early October, believing that their tournament started a week before it actually did.

    The Wildcats were only able to get in a partial practice round because of their late start but are ready to play nonetheless.

    “”We’re not as prepared as we should be,”” Allen deadpanned, “”but the girls are excited.””

    As if fighting off jet-lag and exhaustion weren’t enough, the team will face arguably its toughest challenge of the year.

    The Match Play Championship features an elite 16-team field, including No. 1 Georgia, No. 3 Duke, No. 5 Vanderbilt and No. 6 Auburn. Eleven of the teams competing rank in the top 25.

    In match play, teams go head-to-head against a single opponent instead of the whole field.

    Arizona’s first-round opponent is No. 17 Michigan State, a squad led by junior Sara Brown, a Tucson native.

    Brown is coming off her first collegiate victory last weekend at the Landfall Tradition and has been named Golfweek.com’s Player of the Week.

    Arizona junior Alison Walshe earned that award earlier this year.

    Despite its bad luck over the past couple days Allen is confident in his team.

    He said that sophomore Adriana Zwanck, who is a native of Madrid, Spain, is great in match play because the format is so common in Europe.

    Allen also expects his top two players, Walshe and junior Mary Jacobs, to continue their outstanding play.

    Because the team is missing more than a week of school, sophomore Amanda Wilson flew back to Tucson after the Las Vegas tournament and freshman Brittany Benvenuto joined the team in Florida.

    The Wildcats will play two matches today. If they beat Michigan State, they will play the winner of the Auburn-Alabama match. If they lose, they will play the loser of that match in the consolation bracket.

    “”Match play requires a different state of mind,”” Allen said. “”It’s one-on-one, so we just have to take it one match at a time.””

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