SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Led by All-West Coast Conference upperclassmen Miki Ueoka and Tamara Surtees, the Santa Clara University women's golf team is gearing up for the 2011 season.
The Broncos play two local tournaments to open the spring schedule, first at Stanford's Peg Barnard Invitational (Stanford Golf Club) February 19-20, then at San Jose State's Julie Inkster Invitational (Almaden CC) March 31-February 1.
"Our program is going through some changes, but we are getting in some really quality practice sessions," said Ueoka, referring to the fact SCU will be welcoming a new coach to the Mission Campus this spring. "We are all very focused on both our individual and team goals and are taking the necessary steps forward to make progress."
Ueoka and Surtees played well this fall, helping SCU place second as a team in back-to-back tournaments in October. The two teammates and close friends were locked in a first-place tie after final round play of the Santa Clara Colby Invitational October 26, with Surtees winning the tournament title in a three-hole playoff.
The roster also boasts proven experience in senior Lauren Oh and a pair of talented true freshmen, Taylor Camany and Brooke Stephens. However, the Broncos have not played in a tournament since November 2.
"I think everyone is shaking off the rust a bit!" said Ueoka about the first weeks of January practice. "That said, I know everyone is excited to be back and we are excited for our competitive spring schedule. Specifically, we are putting a lot of time into short game practice. I think the more confident we are in putting and chipping, the more confident we will be in our overall game. We are also focused on getting into a competitive mindset more often through mini competitions in practice."
The spring season will be a special one for Ueoka, a senior from Lihue, Hawaii, who became the first-ever women's golfer at SCU to qualify for the NCAA Championships, when she made the national field as a sophomore in 2009.
"From a personal standpoint, I am looking to get my hitting more consistent and accurate, as well as putting more effort into improving my putting," added Ueoka. "Because this is the end of my collegiate career, I'm extremely motivated to give the program, my teammates and myself everything I've got."