By Kaitlin Fuelling '13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The senior from Monterrey, Mexico has certainly learned how to balance between being on the women's golf team and the academic rigor of studying psychology. Balbina Guajardo (BG) transferred from Houston Baptist where she helped lead the college to back-to-back Great West Conference titles and was named GWC 'Player of the Year.' This past season, she was Santa Clara's scoring leader and competed in all nine events for the Broncos. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Guajardo to talk about her time at Santa Clara and her experiences with golf.
SCB: When did you first start to play golf?
BG: I started playing golf when I was five years old and I instantly began to love the game. I proceeded to play my first tournament at the age of six and have been playing competitively ever since.
SCB: What has been the most memorable course to play at? Is there a dream course you would like to play at?
BG: Playing at Torrey Pines for the Junior World Championship several years ago is a memory I will never forget. It has always been my dream to have the opportunity to play at Augusta National.
SCB: What is the most difficult part of being a student-athlete?
BG: Time management has definitely been challenging since each tournament requires us to be in the road between three to five days. Golf is a very unique sport in the sense that it takes you almost an entire day to finish a round, leaving little extra time to finish schoolwork. However, I have learned to prioritize and use my time wisely so that I make sure everything is done on time.
SCB: What are you looking forward to about the rest of season?
BG: I am really looking forward to competing at conference and making the best of my last college tournament with the team. After the season is over, I want to spend time with my teammates before I graduate.
SCB: What would you consider to be a weakness? Or is there something you would like to improve about how you play for this season?
BG: This season, our whole team has been working on improving our mental games through positive self-talk and circle breathing techniques. This has proven to be really helpful in my game and it has allowed me to post several top-15 finishes.
SCB: How do you prepare for a match?
BG: I try to make sure I get enough sleep the night before a tournament. Since golf tournaments start pretty early, we usually get breakfast as a team. I like getting to the golf course around an hour before we tee off, which allows enough time for my pre-round routine. I usually start the morning by connecting to my iPod and listen to some music while warming up and stretching for 10 minutes. Afterwards, I hit balls at the driving range for 20 minutes, and then head off to the putting green for another 20 minutes. Later, we get together as a team to give each other any last minute advice, and then head out to our holes.
SCB: What is something Santa Clara may not know about you or the golf team?
BG: My absolute favorite golf shot is a bunker shot. I like it when I need to be creative and surprise myself with the outcome.