April 6, 2011

Ueoka Leading Women's Golf By Example

By Carolyn Linck, '11

Senior Miki Ueoka (MU) is leading the Santa Clara women's golf team by example, settling into her game and helping her teammates do the same. Recently www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Ueoka about her role as a senior, her best memories as a Bronco and her post graduation plans.

SCB: How old were you when you started playing golf? Who taught you the game? Did you play any other sports growing up?

MU: I started playing golf competitively when I was eight years old and have never played any other sports.  Both my mom and my dad used to take me out to play and I really learned the game from them.

SCB: What do you think is the strongest part of your game right now and what aspects are you working to improve?

MU: The strongest part of my game right now is probably my ball striking.  It is not exactly where I want it to be, but I'm getting close.  I really want to continue working on my short game and putting.  My short game has seen big improvements already this season and I want to keep that momentum going.  I want to pay close attention to my putting as well, because right now if my putting is "on," I know I can shoot some really low numbers.

SCB: How do you view your role on the team as a senior? Do you think the younger girls look to you as a leader?

MU: As a senior and the captain, I hope that I serve as an example in both practice and play.  That being said, our team is really close, so I don't think there is as much of a "gap" as there might be between seniors and younger players on other teams.

SCB: The team has jumped up 20 spots in the national rankings in the latest poll.  What do you attribute this recent success to?

MU: I think we are all really settling in to our games this season, each in our own ways.  We are focused on what each of us needs to accomplish in practice and what we need to work on. Through this, I think everyone has become more confident, and we know that we can compete with every other team in the field.  We are motivated, we want to be out there and most of all, we are having fun. I think that is the key.

SCB: What is your best memory from your four years of playing golf for the Broncos?

MU: That's tough.  I've had so many great experiences with the team, and they are really what have made my experience here at SCU so special.  The one memory that sticks out in my mind was going to the regional championship during my sophomore year. It was the best end to a great year.

SCB: What are your post-graduation plans?

MU: Right now I am planning on taking a year off to focus on getting into medical school.  But, being as my home is Hawaii, I will no doubt be playing some golf.