By, Brian Elser `10
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Erin Sullivan, senior captain of the Santa Clara University women's golf team, has become the first Bronco golfer in program history to earn National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) All-American Scholar honors all four years of her SCU career.
The NGCA All-America distinction is one of the toughest to achieve in college athletics. The parameters are that a student athlete must maintain a Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and have participated in at least 50% of the team's competitions on the year. Sullivan is well above those parameters, as her current cumulative GPA is 3.78 - posting a perfect 4.0 GPA in five quarters (four were consecutive).
Sullivan also gets it done on the course. The Accounting major from Burr Ridge, Ill. also holds the fourth lowest career scoring average in women's golf program history. She finished in a tie for ninth at the Firestone Grill Invitational earlier this season.
"I am so impressed with Erin's ability to excel academically with all she does," said Santa Clara head women's golf coach Polly Schulze. "She is our team captain, she serves on SAAC (Santa Clara University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), she's a tutor and a teacher's assistant and she still manages to excel both in the classroom and on the course."
"Erin has provided leadership for all of her teammates above and beyond athletics and has created the standard for great leadership. She is one-in-a-million and I am very grateful to have had her on my team for the last four years."
Sullivan took the time to look back on her four years at Santa Clara, as she aims to earn her sixth perfect 4.0 GPA this spring quarter.
Brian Elser (BE): What made you want to come to Santa Clara to play golf?
Erin Sullivan (ES): I made the decision to come to Santa Clara after visiting the campus and meeting Coach Polly during my senior year. I knew Santa Clara would be a perfect match for me both academically and athletically, and it was hard to pass up the beautiful campus and great weather.
BE: What has been your most memorable moment playing golf here at Santa Clara?
ES: My most memorable moment playing golf was this year at Cal Poly's tournament at Monarch Dunes. I had set a goal prior to the tournament to finish in the top 10. I shot a final round 72 to finish tied for ninth. It was great being able to excel on a golf course that played long and difficult. I also really appreciated all the support from my coach and teammates after I finished on the 18th green.
BE: If you could play golf with any three others in a foursome, who would it be?
ES: I think it would have to be Freddy Couples, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson, and if I had my pick on where we would play, it'd have to be Augusta National.
BE: What is your favorite club in your bag?
ES: My favorite club is my Scotty Cameron putter. I got it stamped a couple years ago with a green shamrock and it has definitely proved to be one of my strong suits on the golf course.
BE: Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you do prior to a tournament?
ES: I don't have any specific rituals or superstitions, but before I leave the putting green to tee off, I always make three three-footers in a row to visualize seeing the ball going into the hole.
BE: So, what are your plans after graduation?
ES: After graduation, I am moving back home to Chicago and will begin working with one of the big four accounting firms, Deloitte, in international tax in July.