April 26, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - Claire Dury provides the Cal women's golf team with invaluable leadership as one one of three seniors. Dury helped the Bears to a runner-up finish at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. She discusses her hole-in-one at the tournament, her home country of New Zealand and the team's mindset heading into the NCAA Regionals May 6-8. At the 2003 NCAA Central Regional, Dury earned all-region honors by finishing fourth.
How did you start playing golf?
"I got my start when I was 10-years-old. Both of my brothers played golf, and my dad played, too. I played a lot of other sports, but my brothers took me out to play golf. That's how I got into it. When I was 13, I made the New Zealand Junior Side. At the time, I was playing field hockey, as well. I started getting into tournaments by New Zealand golf. I thought that was pretty cool."
Why did you decide to transfer to Cal from Massey University in New Zealand?
"I wanted to play on the West Coast and in the Pac-10. I wanted somewhere where the weather would be good for golf all year round. I also wanted top golf courses, which I didn't really have in New Zealand. I didn't have top practice facilities either. Cal's a great school."
How's your Cal experience been?
"I had never seen Berkeley or been here before. I didn't come on a recruiting trip, so I didn't know what to expect. I really love it since I've been here. It's always changing. It's a fun city to go to school at."
What are your plans for after graduation?
"At this point, I'm not sure what I want to do. I probably don't want to do postgraduate work straightaway. I want to try to play golf. I'm going to work on that. I've majored in psychology, but at this stage, I don't want to go on with that. I've enjoyed studying it, but it's not something I want to carry on with. I want to stay in the United States, but we'll have to see what happens."
What do you enjoy besides golf?
"I used to play a lot of tennis. I also played a lot of other sports - canoe water polo and water polo. At the end of high school, I stopped playing field hockey and focused on golf. I went to Massey University, a university in my hometown, part-time, and I was playing golf for the New Zealand team."
What do you love about New Zealand?
"It's a beautiful country. The countryside is beautiful, the mountains. It's got a small population, so it's not crowded. It's easy to get everywhere. It has lots of nice beaches. It's cheap living. There's a lot of stuff to do - skiing, surfing, all sorts of outdoor adventures within a small area. You don't have to travel far to get anywhere because it's such a small place."
Were you surprised to record your first career hole-in-one at the Pac-10 Championships?
"I hit a perfect shot, but when you hit a perfect shot, they don't always go in. I thought it was going over the back of the green when I hit it because I hit it so well and high in the air. When it dropped short of the pin, I thought it was going to be really close. Then, it just went in. I was surprised that it went in but really excited. It was fun."
How does the team feel about finishing second at the Pac-10 Championships?
"We're happy with how it went. Second was a good finish against that field. We lost to UCLA, which was ranked ahead of us. We were right there going into the last round. The golf course was a tough one. UCLA had played it a lot more than us. They had the advantage with knowing the greens. It was the sort of golf course that the more times you played it, the more advantage it was to you. We're always trying to win. We're going to be very prepared going into nationals this year. We're on track with what we're trying to do. The good thing about our team is that we know we can win. We're going to compete for the championship this year."