Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
The Opportunity of a Lifetime
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 16, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Rachel Gavin wants her bubbly personality to rub off on everyone she meets. “Rachel is really high on life,” Head Coach Greg Allen said. “She is always smiling, positive and energetic, and ready to come to practice and get better everyday.”


The 5-5 sophomore has lived as far away as Germany and as close in Tucson during her life. The daughter of Milo and Kimberley Gavin started to play golf here and there with her father.


“I have been a military child my whole life and I haven’t gone to a big golf school where it was all about golf I just played on my own,” Gavin said.


Gavin wanted nothing more than the opportunity to play in a big-time college golf program. “My uncle played a trick on me once and called as an Arizona recruiter. He said, ?'To get your scholarship, just call this number’, I was so excited! And after about five minutes he said, ?'Just kidding. It’s just me.’ I freaked out, but still wanted to go.”


Prior to her collegiate golf experience, Gavin had only played one year of organized high school golf, which was her senior year. After moving to Tucson for her season year, Gavin finished 11th at the Arizona state championships.


“When I got 11th at state, that was my last match. Coach Allen came and watched me. I guess he really liked me and asked me to walk on.”


The opportunity Gavin received to become a walk-on was a once and a life experience for the southern belle. “I just played on my own and then this opportunity came. So it was really important to me.”


Gavin sat out as a red shirt her freshman year in 2002-03. In 2004, she heated up her play in the spring season. Her effort earned her a spot on the five-woman team for the 2004 Wildcat Invitational. “I qualified in two good practice rounds coach saw. I kind of broke through.” Gavin finished the tournament tied for 61st by carding a 244 (+31).


Her collegiate best tournament came at the Mountain View Collegiate, where she shot a 242 (+26). “I did better at the Mountain View. I think it was because I wasn’t traveling and it was in Arizona, on an Arizona course. I know how they are set up,” Gavin said. “I was more comfortable. It was a more relaxed setting and I didn’t have to put the pressure on myself.”


Although Gavin has only seen action in three tournaments, which were all last spring, she has loved the opportunity to be part of the team. “I’ve learned a lot with relationships. I’ve learned what to do in academics, in managing time. It’s been a good experience,” she said. “I think along the way everyone has had fun with each other and learned to deal with how they would be approached, or communicated with or what they like to have said to them. When it’s a good time to be their friend, help them out in schoolwork. We’ve become sisters, because we will always come back to each other.”