March 16, 2010

Meet Miki Ueoka of the Women's Golf Team

March 16, 2010

Junior Miki Ueoka of the Women's Golf team recently caught up with SCU media relations assistant Justin Kuehn to talk about the spring season, golf courses, and what she plans on doing after college.

Congratulations on shooting a 73 and finishing 7th overall at the Stanford Peg Barnard Invitational on February 28. What did you do mentally and physically during your round that helped you perform with such success?

During the round, I tried to stay really focused on the shot I had in front of me. After a shaky first round, I knew I just needed to just concentrate on playing the best that I could and not get caught up with score or how I would finish. Especially after the fog delay, I knew that staying focused would be key to playing well.

Being a native of Hawaii, you have probably played some very nice golf courses. How have you found the courses here on the mainland compared to the courses back home?

I have been able to play some amazing courses at home on a daily basis! That said, I've really enjoyed playing courses up here. They're different and challenging in ways that I'm not necessarily accustomed to back home. Stanford's golf course is definitely one of my favorites and we're lucky enough to be able to play courses like CordeValle and Silver Creek Valley Country Club on a weekly basis. It's also been really fun to play the courses we play in tournaments. The mainland definitely allows for a greater range of course types than at home, so it's been fun seeing different layouts and adjusting my game for them.

As a whole, you and your team has jumped off to a good start to the season. What improvements do you see at this time that you and your teammates must make in order to place higher in the upcoming events?

We, as a team, have been working really hard on our mental games. We have been working with our mental training coach, Rick Sessinghaus, on improving our thought process leading into, during and after tournaments. I think it has been successful and we are definitely starting to see progress.

We've also been dealing with the off and on rain and trying to practice as much as we can when weather permits! I also think working with our trainer Chris has been a key part to our success, especially for 36-hole days. I think continuing to train with our goals in mind and coming together as a team will help us move forward.

Is there anything on or off the course you are working on to help with your success here at Santa Clara?

On the course I'm working on getting my ball striking back to where it was, and I'm always working on improving my putting. I'm also constantly working on the mental aspect of things and making sure I can stay completely focused throughout my round.

Being just a junior, you have another year left of eligibility. However, what plans do you have for after graduation?

I am a Biochemistry major and I hope to go on to medical or graduate school. Golf is such a huge part of my life that I'm not sure I can completely give it up, so I'm trying to keep all of my options open!