April 17, 2014
As sophomore Catherine Peters prepares to wrap up her second year in Maize and Blue, she can see a difference in her game compared to the way she played a season ago. Ever consistent and mentally tough, Peters has helped U-M with a trio of top-35 finishes in her second season in Ann Arbor. Her confidence and consistency have led the coaching staff to start her in all nine events so far this season -- one of four Wolverines to earn that honor. With nearly 73 percent of her rounds as a starter contributing towards the team score, Peters is among the most valuable in the lineup. She took a moment from a busy practice and school schedule to speak with MGoBlue.com on her improvements, her mental toughness and balancing school with golf for this In the Spotlight segment.
On her progress from the fall to now in Coach Dowling's first year ... "In the fall, we all were working on various things with Coach Dowling. In particular, I had to change my putting stroke to a more upright stance and more down-the-line instead of coming across, which I was doing. With my putting stroke change, my putting has gotten exponentially better and I'm a lot more comfortable. I approach putting more technically now, rather than just feeling it."
On the aspects of her game that allow her coaches and teammates to feel so confident with her in the lineup ... "I know my mental approach to the game is pretty solid. I tend to not get emotional either way on the course; I can handle bad stress very well and getting a double or triple (bogey) really doesn't affect my entire round. I usually come back from a hole like that. I'm a comeback player, as you can see from my last tournament. I think that's why (Coach Dowling) feels so comfortable with me out there, because she doesn't have to work with me too much on the mental part of the game."
On what makes her so mentally strong ... "It's always been a strong part of my game, mostly because of the work of my father. He was my high school course and we were constantly working on that. He probably thought of that as more important than just being technical."
On the benefits of knowing how to balance academics and school as a sophomore versus as a freshman one year ago ... "It's a lot easier coming in and knowing what to expect, because coming in as a freshman you have no idea and I got my butt kicked that first semester between balancing academics and athletics, so you have to be better at the whole balancing act. Also using resources such as our Academic Adviser, going to the Academic Center, using the tutors and talking to professors more often, and going to meet with them. You have to be on top and more organized; it makes your life a whole lot easier."
On preparation for a tournament during a long break between events ... "When we have longer breaks, we get into a different schedule. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays tend to be more work on our own time, working with Coach, but not necessarily on technical things, especially now -- you don't want to get too technical. For example, this break I've been working my driver to get more accurate down the fairway because if I can get my ball in the fairway off the tee, I'm going to score very well. When we only have a break for a couple days, we're just trying to maintain or maybe get a little bit better."
Previous Spotlight: Lauren Grogan
Contact: Chad Shepard