Feb. 27, 2014
Last weekend in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Grace Choi shaved one stroke off her career-best 54-hole score to finish with a 224 total, securing a top-25 finish in back-to-back events. She closed the fall season as U-M's scoring leader with a 76.64 average and has already lowered that mark through three rounds of tournament action this spring. Choi and her teammates have been hard at work all winter, sharpening their swings and honing their putting and chipping skills with help from coaches Jan Dowling and Mary Mattson. In search of progress on a team and individual level, Choi and the rest of the Wolverines head south to Coral Gables, Fla., for the Hurricane Invitational (March 3-5) next week. Discussing the upcoming tournament, a winter of hard work and her plans for spring break, she took a few minutes from practice to talk with MGoBlue.com for a spotlight segment.
On how she and the team feel now as compared to the end of the fall season ... "I feel ready and the team feels prepared as well. Now that we have [the Lady Puerto Rico Classic] under our belt we're no longer going straight from practicing inside to playing outside. We have tournament experience and as a team we've worked really, really hard in the winter."
On what kinds of changes she expects to see after a winter of hard work ... "Coach gave each of us little things to work on with our swing and our putting and chipping. You can see the hard work come out in competitive practice. We can tell everyone has been getting ready for the season so we're excited."
On how to keep up her strong play coming off a career-best 224 in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic last weekend ... "The way I see it, things can only get better from there. I did play solidly in Puerto Rico, I know, but there's a lot more that I can give to the team. It's just about trusting what I've worked on in the winter and trusting Coach Jan and Coach Mary and the changes they've implemented in my game. I just have to work on getting better every day. The future looks good."
On what she's looking for out of her team in Coral Gables at the Hurricane Invitational ... "For our team, consistent play is really important. We're early in our spring season and it's going to get really busy very soon so I think that's what we're looking for. Our whole team, the way we're hitting the ball and chipping, we can see the improvements in our game, but it's not exactly translating to our score so if we can see that transition -- from feeling really good about the way we're playing to seeing a score that matches that -- it would be good for our team."
On whether or not she received any advice from the several Wolverines who participated in the Hurricane Invitational two seasons ago ... "I've heard that tournament was crazy. Apparently the weather was insane and the wind was crazy. We're also playing a different course this year, so that will be different. They told me funny stories about hitting three woods on par-3s and coming up 40 yards short so hopefully we have good weather and don't have to worry about the wind. My teammates said it was probably the hardest tournament they've played in."
On spending U-M's spring break playing a few extra rounds in Florida ... "I'm super excited for the trip. We know the Miami weather will be warm, but I'm hopeful that sunshine is in our future. The facilities here are nice, but there's nothing like being outside and playing real golf on grass. I'm really looking forward to this week because the whole team will be there to practice and train and we don't always get that, so it's going to be a treat to be down there."
Previous Spotlight: Coach Jan Dowling
Contact: Chad Shepard (firstname.lastname@example.org)