My Signature: Coachability and Maturity Help Pelaez in NCAA Regional Title Run

May 17, 2017


If I could talk to myself from when I first got here, I would say 'if you really want to be here, you have to practice hard and be 100 percent committed with every shot you’re hitting right now.'
Ana Pelaez

"When I found out we won regionals and that I was medalist, we were so excited. I could barely believe it. We were together holding hands. We couldn’t believe it.

Winning the tournament made my being the medalist more enjoyable. Absolutely. We all wanted to win as a team, but when I saw that I had won, and Kate (Katelyn Dambaugh) was in the top three, and Ainhoa (Olarra) was top five, I thought ‘we did this.’ We all played well, and that’s why we won. That made it more exciting.

I don’t think I was nervous going into the tournament. We all practice so hard. The only thing we have to think about is just playing good golf.

The day before in practice, I was with Coach (Kalen Anderson) in the chipping area. I was trying a kind of shot that didn’t work on that course. She showed me two different shots on how to do it, and it helped me a lot. I knew how to chip from the rough because she helped me to know how to do it.

After the first round, I didn’t play how I wanted. So in practice later that afternoon, (Associate Head Coach) Puggy (Blackmon) came to me, and I was kind of disappointed in myself because I expect more out of me. I’m stubborn sometimes, and I don’t always like for anyone to help me. But that day, I told myself that I was going to listen to Puggy, and that I was going to be helped. That was the difference in having a good second and third round in the tournament.

In the final round, I think I was (even) par after nine holes. Then I hit another birdie on 10, and another on 12. After the 13th (hole), I could feel my momentum. I felt like we could win this, and I felt like I could win this tournament. I just kept playing.

What I like most about this team is that I am a freshman, and I can see that I made an impact.

When I first got here, I had trouble with my English. I thought there was no way I was going to be able to speak in English. Now I’m doing it. It’s just like my golf. I believe I can get anywhere I want if I practice hard. When I first got here, I saw Kate, and I thought ‘wow, she is so good.’ Every day, I saw everyone practicing so hard. If I could talk to myself from when I first got here, I would say ‘if you really want to be here, you have to practice hard and be 100 percent committed with every shot you’re hitting right now.’ That would be the advice I would give the ‘old me.’

Playing well at regionals gives all of us confidence going into the (NCAA) Championship. To see us go from being tied for sixth after the first day and then winning the regional, it just shows that we can do this if just take it one shot at a time and don’t put pressure on ourselves.

We know we can do this. I want to win NCAAs for the first time for this team. That would be my dream, and that would be our dream."