April 23, 2010
Freshman Haley Stephens made her debut in the Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship on Friday and was one of three Longhorns to card a team-best 3-over-par 75 to tie for 13th place after 18 holes. Stephens had a few moments after her round to talk about her play and thoughts on competing in the league championship with TexasSports.com.
Q. What was it like competing in the Big 12 Championship for the first time?
A. It was a lot of fun out there today. If felt like a normal event, with just a few additions. There were leaderboards everywhere we looked, and there were flags of every school lining the driveway when you came into the course. But other than that, when we were out there playing, it felt just like a normal event where our only goal was to get the ball in the hole.
Q. What was the difference between the back nine (+16) and the front nine (-2) today for the team?
A. I think we just got our bad holes out of the way early. We rallied and played the front nine really well. The wind was pretty constant all day, so we can’t blame it on that. I think we just found our rhythm and came together to play well.
Q. What does it mean to the freshmen class for Texas to finish strong in the Big 12 Championship?
A. It means a lot to us, and I think that was pretty evident in our rally from last place after our first nine holes to a tie for fourth at the end of the round. That shows that we have a lot of heart, and are capable of putting together a good round as a team. No matter where we start, we know we can finish strong. It feels good to have put a stamp on the first round with the finish we had today. It shows that we came here to play.
Q. What do you think the weekend holds for the Longhorns?
Q. Head coach Martha Richards is unable to be with the team this weekend due to an illness in her immediate family. Does that add extra emotion to your play?
A. I think you’re going to see us continue to climb the leaderboard and keep positive vibes with each other. We’re going to continue to help each other out when we can and be there for each other. We’re coming together as a team and that is translating into lower team scores. It all starts with the team and we carry that onto the course.
A. For sure. I’ve been using the pink cancer ribbon for my ball marker, and that’s helped me to put things into perspective. If I don’t make a putt, I can look down at that ribbon and know that some people are going through a lot worse than me. We’re definitely all playing for Martha out here.