Erik Olson swings into action
March 18, 2005
By Veronica White
Erik Olson is sure of one thing: that golf will always be an important part of his life. But that has not always been the case for Olson. In sixth grade the Husky golfer was an avid basketball and baseball player until one day his fate was suddenly changed. The junior from Renton, Wash., was hit by a car and his right leg was shattered. After that Olson was forced to stay off the court and away from the baseball diamond as a result of his injury and turned his attention to golf.
'All I could do was walk and that's how I got involved in golf, it just took off from there,' said Olson.
Take off is exactly what his career has done as a member of the 24th-ranked University of Washington men's golf team. Olson kept himself busy last summer, finishing fourth at the 78th-Washington State Amateur in June of 2004 and placing14th at the 102nd Western Amateur Golf Championships last July. Two months into this year's spring season-Olson has his goals set high, he is currently ranked third on the team with a 73.45% stroke average.
'Hopefully I can be an All-American again this year,' said Olson. 'Team-wise we want to make it to our seventh straight NCAA appearance.'
Olson, a sociology major, has his sights set on the end of the season, but there are other important things he must take into consideration. Olson has diabetes and says that it makes golf tournaments a little tougher. During tournaments he has to check his blood sugar level every six or seven holes.
'During a long golf match it's pretty tough,' said Olson. 'Stress has a big impact on my sugar level and when I'm playing 36 holes my emotions kind of go up and down. I don't think it has really changed my golf experience at all. I still do everything my teammates do, I just have to watch it a little but more than they do.'
Olson's health does not detract from his goal of playing professional golf after his two remaining years at the University of Washington. After college he is planning to attend Qualifying School to try for his PGA card. Qualifying School consists of six rounds of golf, with the top finishers receiving a card to play in the PGA golf tour. Qualifying School is known to be some of the most difficult golf a player will encounter.
But right now Olson is concerned with the present. Last weekend at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship in Las Vegas, he led Washington shooting 1-over 73 for the third consecutive day. Olson was 18th overall at 3-over 219. It marked the first time in his career he has been the top finisher for Washington. The Huskies return to action march 19 at the Northwest Shootout at Bandon Dunes, Ore.