Freshman Sensation Skipping Adjustment Period

May 17, 2010

To say Chris Williams is adjusting nicely to life as a college freshman may be the understatement of the year. On the Pac-10 Champion Husky golf team he is the only player to win a tournament this season and he has even taken it a step further by winning twice -- the only freshman to accomplish that feat in UW history. The Pac-10's Co-Freshman of the Year and his teammates are preparing to host one of six NCAA Regionals starting this Thursday at Gold Mountain Golf Course in Bremerton, Wash. Here is a Q&A with Williams:

GoHuskies.com: You've had a great freshman year. Do you remember when you started to feel comfortable with the team and playing golf at the college level?
Chris Williams:
'I didn't qualify for the Hawaii trip and that wasn't fun. I had been told before I got here that the Hawaii trip is the most fun part because we get to be there for a week and a half and get to go snorkeling and go to the beach. When I didn't qualify for that it didn't' sit well. I worked pretty hard. I practiced a lot, at the course until late. I felt good about my game, won qualifying and went to Battle of the Beach. I knew that I was prepared well enough to play well and I won the tournament. I realized that I can play college golf well.'

GH.com: How big is it to have the home course advantage of playing out at Gold Mountain for Regionals?
CW:
'It's huge. We played out there [most this week]. When we played the PING/Golfweek Invitational in September, it was still a new course to me because it was only my third time playing there. Now that we have played it quite a few times, we know the course better than anybody and I think that is really going to help us.'

GH.com: What do you think your role is going forward for this team to be successful?
CW:
'I think right now, with the four seniors, I'm just hanging back and doing what they do. Next year, we are going to have a young team and I'm almost going to be the veteran next year. It's kind of weird to think but someone needs to fill their shoes and I'll gladly try to take their spots. Nick this year, he didn't help me with my swing or shots; he just said that I'm a good player and deserve to be on this team. Hearing that from a guy like Nick gives more confidence than anything could ever do. So that and talking to the freshmen and telling them that they are good enough and that's why they're here. I just have to support the guys next year and we'll see how it goes.'

GH.com: How has the Husky Golf Center helped you as a freshman?
CW:
'I'm not in here a whole lot. When I am in here, I'm doing homework instead of going to the library. I've never been a library guy. We have events in here. I do a lot of homework in here. For me it's just been a good spot to hang out with the team. It's an unbelievable facility. You can put your swing on video, use the Track Man to track the ball and tell you everything. In the future it's going to be a huge recruiting tool. Before, we didn't really have anything and now we have something like this. Guys see this and it's awesome. I brought some buddies and showed them around and they thought it was pretty unbelievable.'

GH.com: Has the social aspect of this place helped with the camaraderie among the team that is talked about so much?
CW:
'We have tailigating events here with all the donors so we are here with the team and all the guys that support us. During the Pac-10 Basketball Tournament, we watched every game in here as a team. We are rooting for our team and it was a pretty cool atmosphere. For football games, when they are away we watch every game here as a team. It's been a lot of fun hanging out here.'

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