Rue Gives Cougars High Expectations

By Nick Dettorre

Washington State University freshman golfer Kristen Rue has high expectations for her team and herself. After a high school career that included four team state championships and three individual state titles, and a summer in which she played well in two significant amateur tournaments, Rue is excited to represent the Cougars.

"I love the school spirit and the whole college atmosphere that you feel around campus," she said.

Rue, who grew up on golf course in Gig Harbor, Wash., has spent the majority of her life preparing for this moment. "I started working with a swing coach when I was 8," she said. "I was 10 when I first started competing. After I won high school state as a freshman, I realized I could be pretty good."

Rue's college career is set to start on September 12 in the Circling Raven Collegiate Invitational in Worley, Id. Having already played this course during the Cougars' team retreat, and believing the course plays to a lot of her strengths, Rue said she feels very prepared going into this tournament.

While Rue admits that college golf is a lot different than high school golf, her performances in this summer's USGA Women's Amateur Qualifier and Washington State Women's Amateur Championship, where she finished sixth and second, respectively, allowed her to see how her game matched up against some of the competition she is expected to face in the Pac-12.

"A lot of college players were playing in [the Washington State Women's Amateur Championship], so I guess finishing tied for second gave me some confidence for college golf in the Pac-12 because I have already played against college players." While she fell just short of her goal of winning the tournament, Rue explained that her "thought process was it's all or nothing because I knew I needed to go low. I went for everything, and played some riskier shots the last day."

Rue added that playing in Rhode Island during the USGA Women's Amateur was "a great experience" and that "it was very cool to have cameras on the course and all the people watching." Rue hopes to qualify for the tournament again next summer, and make it to match play.

In addition to her achievements on the golf course, Rue also strives to excel in the classroom.

"My goal is to become an All-American my freshman year," she said. "Academically, I strive for all A's. My realistic goal is to keep a 3.8 GPA. I did that in high school and I know college is harder, but I just need to work harder."

While academics and golf are her two of her top priorities, Rue acknowledges that balancing the two with her social life can be tough. "My friends make fun of me because I tend to lack in the social life. Golf and studying do not give me much time," she said.

"I have found that planning my day ahead in the morning does give me more time and I can plan when I will be able to hang out with friends around my team practice and studying so it all works out."

Rue's preparation and talent, both academically and athletically, gives fans of Cougar golf a lot to be excited about over the next four years.

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