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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Women’s golf thinking small

    Two tournaments, two solid performances, but no top-three finish. That has been the 2007 season thus far for Arizona women’s golf.

    In their first two tournaments this year, the No. 7 Wildcats have put up rounds that placed them among the top teams in the nation. But mental mistakes and inconsistency – especially in the second round – have kept Arizona from finishing a tournament in the top three where it originally set out to finish.

    UA head coach Shelly Haywood said she wants the team to concentrate on

    We need to be
    patient. We are definitely one of the five or six teams that can win.
    – Shelly Haywood, women’s golf coach

    the little things that will put the Wildcats where they want to be.

    “”I’m not focused on (not finishing in the top three),”” she said. “”It’s been a matter of a couple putts here and there. The competition has been very tough.””

    The Wildcats have a chance to improve on consecutive sixth-place finishes as they begin play at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational today.

    “”We can improve on hitting a few more greens and being a little more consistent,”” Haywood said.

    Although five other top-25 teams will play in the tournament, the field will not be as tough as it has been of late. At the NCAA Preview, held Sept. 24-26 in Albuquerque, N.M., eight of the nation’s top 10 squads competed. The Wildcats will see only three such teams this week.

    But while the competition may be easier, the course certainly isn’t. The tournament will be played on the par-72 Sahalee Country Club Course in Redmond, Wash.

    “”This course is by far the toughest we play all year,”” Haywood said. “”That’s going to be a challenge.””

    Arizona will be led by senior Alison Walshe, who finished in second place individually at the NCAA Preview with a 10-under 209.

    “”I hope I play well and give myself a chance to win,”” she said. “”I hope I can carry over how I played last time into this tournament.””

    In the end, it may be the course that determines Arizona’s fate.

    “”We need to be patient,”” Haywood said. “”We are definitely one of the five or six teams that can win.””

    Men’s golf set to resume season at Wolf Pack Classic

    After more than three weeks removed from competition, the Arizona men’s golf team will get back to work today at the Wolf Pack Classic.

    The time off has allowed the team to get in a lot of practice, something the Wildcats said they hope will translate into better results in the tournament held in Reno, Nev.

    “”The time off’s been great,”” said senior Creighton Honeck. “”We’ve done a lot of playing on different courses to adapt to changes. Everyone’s starting to play better. We’ve played in the rain and wind, and we’ve adapted well.””

    Arizona will be looking to improve significantly after eighth- and ninth-place finishes, respectively, in its previous two tournaments, which saw the team fall out of the nation’s top 25. In both tournaments, Arizona was the only ranked team competing.

    “”I’m definitely disappointed (in the way we played),”” Honeck said. “”We were head and shoulders better than everyone and we didn’t get it done.””

    Honeck himself serves as an example. He was in third place individually after the first round of the Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque on Sept. 15 – Arizona’s most recent tournament – but finished in 20th place.

    “”The biggest thing is putting better,”” Honeck said. “”I lost touch in the second round and I was playing catch-up. That’s not a good way to play golf. I need to be more consistent.””

    With freshmen making up half the team, their development is key to Arizona’s success. Honeck doesn’t see that as too much of a problem.

    “”They’ve been playing well of late,”” he said. “”I expect good things.””

    Australian freshman Tarquin MacManus posted his first-career top-20 finish at the Tucker Invitational, and he said he is looking for even more success this week.

    “”I need to get the job done a little bit better,”” he said. “”If I capitalize better on my chances, I reckon I’ll have a better finish.””

    Successful practices and a change of attitude should key a better outing this week, Honeck said.

    “”We had a terrible attitude at Purdue (at the Midwest Shootout on Sept. 8),”” he said. “”We want to go in and win, but we have to play well and get it done. I definitely expect a better finish.””

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