April 13, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - Senior Sarah Huarte hopes to lead Cal to back-to-back Pac-10 titles April 19-21 at the Saticoy Country Club in Somis, Calif. The second team preseason All-American and member of the 2004 U.S. Curtis Cup team discusses the team's chances heading into the postseason, her development as a golfer and her plans for after college.
Does the team feel any extra pressure heading into the Pac-10 Championships next week as the defending champion?
"I don't think we're necessarily feeling the pressure. I think that all of us are more excited than feeling pressure. We haven't had a win yet this spring. We're building up, trying to be patient and waiting for it to come and have all of our games come together at one tournament. That's how we're looking at Pac-10s."
What are Cal's chances at the NCAA Championships in May?
"I think our chances are as good as anyone. We haven't hit the stepping stones where we are ready to peak. Hopefully, that's where we'll be in the next two weeks with Pac-10s and NCAA Regionals. We'll be stepping it up, so that going into nationals we'll have that extra fire that we need to be able to compete with the top teams on an equal level. I definitely think we have the talent, and we have the players to beat anyone."
How has your game developed since your freshman season?
"There have been big changes from when I was a freshman. I've worked mostly on my short game, putting and chipping. That's changed drastically. Coach (Nancy McDaniel) also emphasizes short game. I've gotten longer since than by at least 30 yards. There have been huge changes."
What will you miss most about Cal?
"Practicing and being with the team. Once I'm done with Cal golf, it's going to be all very individual. I'll make my own plans. Some of that will be nice because I can work out and practice when I would like to. At the same time, it's not the same. I'll be a little bit lonely because it's great to have teammates to practice with and compete with. They push you. I'll just have to push myself."
What are your plans after graduation?
"Right now the plan is to play professional golf. I still have to come back in the fall to take three classes. I'll graduate in December. I'm going to try to go pro after the U.S. Amateur which is in August. That will be my last amateur tournament."
What does it mean to you to be part of the U.S. Curtis Cup team?
"It's amazing. It's one of the highest accomplishments in amateur golf. I'm looking at it like that and kind of taking it all in. It's getting closer and closer. I'm really excited of course. It's a huge honor to play with the girls that I'll be playing with. They're all excellent players."
You come from a very athletic family. Who is the best athlete?
"I'd have to say my Uncle John because he won the Heisman. After that, it's hard to compare because we play such different sports. My sister, Laura, is a pole vaulter, and I play golf, so it's really different. Both of us have played soccer, basketball, we both swam, played tennis and softball. We played everything growing up. So, we're a close tie."