March 22, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - Sophia Sheridan, who hails from Mexico, is one of three international players on the fourth-ranked California women's golf team. Before leaving for the Longhorn Invitational, which wraps up Tuesday, March 23, Sheridan spoke about her sophomore season.
Q) How did you get your start in golf?
"The first time I grabbed a club I was 12. I played tennis since I was seven. For some reason, my dad got into golf, so the whole family got into golf. I didn't really pick it up until I was 15. I played a mini tour once a month in my city called GADO. Golf is starting to grow. It wasn't very popular when I was younger. There's a huge gap. There's only four of us that play around my age. Then, the 10-year-olds are just starting to play. There's not that many public courses. It's impossible to play if you don't own a membership in a club."
Q) How has your golf game improved from your freshman to sophomore season?
"A lot. I learned a lot my freshman year. I've never been on a golf team before. There's a lot of things I didn't understand when I was a freshman that I do now. I've learned a lot from the coaches. I've improved a lot and am focusing on different areas. I've got game. I just need to play and have a mental attitude towards winning."
Q) Does this year's team have the potential to do the best of any Cal team at NCAAs? (best is a tie for 14th in 2003)
"We have all of the potential that you can use. We're a good team. Every individual is a good player. We need to get it out there. We have a shot at the title. I think so. The whole team does, too. And, I know the coaches feel that way. We'll just give it our best."
Q) What do you miss most about your hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico?
"I miss my friends a lot. I played basketball for the last four years with my team. My four best friends were on the team, so I miss during the day at high school when I was with them the entire time. In the afternoon, I was with my other group of friends who play golf. I miss my family, but I talk to them three times a week, so I can live with that."
Q) Does it surprise you how much the Mexican media cover your career at Cal?
"It doesn't surprise me. Lorena Ochoa (on LPGA tour) is from the same city that I'm from. I played with her since I was 15 every single day. She made a really big change in sports in Mexico. Sports in Mexico isn't like it is here where everyone plays sports and everyone is good at it and college is a huge thing. Sports in Mexico is starting to grow. A way of growing them is by highlighting Mexican athletes that are doing well in college in the United States. My feeling is that they're trying to spread the word to kids. Families can see that sports can get you somewhere."
Q) What is your personality like?
"The coaches think I goof around a lot on the golf course. I do sprints while they're riding in the car. I talk to myself a lot on the course, and my friends make fun of that. I just like to have fun. I play because I love the game. The coaches worry that if I goof around too much I won't be able to concentrate."