Freshman making quick adjustment to college and golf
Dylan and the Wildcats will next be in action on Sept. 28.
Sept. 21, 2012
By Andy Ewing Arizona Communications Services
TUCSON, Ariz.- Dylan Healey has barely had enough time to adjust to life in the college dorms, but he's already making noise for the Arizona men's golf team. The freshman recently concluded the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate with a second-place tie individually, and helped lead the Wildcats to a second-place team finish behind Pac-12 foe Washington State.
"It's great to have your team support you," Healey said, "that even though you're young, you can contribute to the team and the guys were definitely 100 percent behind me."
Coming to Arizona, Healey and the coaching staff had high expectations. He came through early in the tournament, finishing the first round with a birdie on 17 and an eagle on 18.
"I made my first putt of any length on 18 for eagle, which was about a 50-footer," Healey said. "It completely changed the momentum for the second round."
For many, the golf season won't heat up until the spring, but playing well this time of the year can be crucial in setting the tone for success in 2013. First-year head coach Jim Anderson knows this and aims to take full advantage of every round played.
"I think the fall is a great chance to compete and learn the expectations from the coaching staff and how we travel, what we do to prepare, and how we develop a solid game plan," Anderson said. "Hopefully when we tee it up in our home event, the Arizona Intercollegiate, Jan. 28-29, we'll be able to hit the ground running and get set for a great spring."
Many of the golfers are still adjusting to Anderson, the first new head golf coach at Arizona since Rick LaRose began in 1978, but Dylan has the guidance of Anderson since he was a child.
"I've known Coach Anderson since I was really young from when he used to coach at New Mexico," Healey said. "He's a great guy, and I'm glad he's getting an opportunity to be a head coach. I used to play with his brother all the time. His brother used to play at UNM with guys like Spencer Levin and others who are on the PGA Tour. They always used to take me around."
With the help of Anderson, Healey is looking forward to the strides he will undoubtedly make through his collegiate career.
"I think the fitness is going to help me," Healey said. "Being able to finish off rounds completely energized and ready to go out again. Not being fatigued at the end of a round is going to help. Our coaches are really strong on short-game practice, and I think continuing that is going to help."
Although Healey is just a freshman, both he and Coach Anderson know that his experience can greatly benefit the team. From growing up in New Mexico, to golfing for the high school team in Tennessee, to now settling down in Tucson, Dylan has been exposed to a variety of diverse environments.
"His dad lives just outside of Nashville, so he went to high school out there and played golf," Anderson said. "Most of the junior golfers now play a national schedule that takes them all over the country and Dylan is no exception to that. He played in some very big junior amateur tournaments as he got older. He's very experienced and has played national competitions for the better part of the last two or three years."
"Any type of course we could possible see, I've probably seen in the past," Healey added. "I've played in all kinds of weather."
While not an Arizona native, Healey is somewhat familiar with the territory, having family roots in Tucson.
"My dad grew up in Tucson and we've always been huge U of A basketball fans, football fans. It was my brother's dream to be able to come here, and I was able to do it, so it's kind of a dream."