May 21, 2013
In 2013, the University of Arizona women's golf team welcomed the addition of Texas A&M sophomore transfer Patricia Garcia. Garcia was a member of the Aggies her freshman year but decided to come to Arizona because of the coaching staff and program.
"Both coaches, Laura and Derek, believe in us a lot," Garcia said. "The golf courses here in Tucson are also really good as well as Arizona's academics. So the U of A has those three things that a student- athlete looks for in order to go to the next level."
Garcia has been working to improve all aspects of her game, especially her short game, and she stresses that her entire team is working just as hard to improve.
"I think we have been working a lot and practicing a lot," Garcia said, "we are trying to improve our game in every area we have been struggling in."
The golf team has eight top-five finishes, including a win at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in Hawaii. The team sees the tournament as a way to showcase all of their hard work.
"I think it's a great opportunity for us to play in nationals this year," said Garcia. "We have been working a lot. We have improved a lot in every weakness of our game. So I think we can do really, really well."
Going to the NCAA Championships for the first time is a nerve racking and incredible new experience for student-athletes who have never participated in one. However, Garcia competed in nationals as a freshman at Texas A&M, so she is a little more prepared.
"You really need to think that every single shot can make the difference, and that you are representing Arizona and your school, and all the work that you have been doing is here," said Garcia. "This is it. This is the last tournament of the season; it's the most important. Having been there already I don't feel as nervous or pressured. I think it is a really good advantage."
Garcia also has high expectations for her team and knows that they have considerable potential.
"If all the pieces come together and everyone played the best that we can, I'm sure we can do really well," said Garcia. "The entire team is excited for nationals and they have all been spending a lot of time preparing."
The Wildcats qualified for the NCAA Championships by earning a tie for 6th place at the NCAA Regional Championships two weeks ago, where Garcia carded a 223 (+10) and finished in a tie for 39th place. The NCAA Championships begin May 21 in Athens, Ga.