Roig Brings Worldwide Experience To UCLA
By Alex Epp
UCLA freshman Kyle Roig started playing golf at the young age of four years old. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Roig's love for golf stemmed from going to the golf course and playing with her father.
"I started playing with my dad when I was a little kid," she said. "Then, when my swing and scores got better, he entered me into tournaments."
Since then, Roig's father has been her golf coach, saying that "he knows my swing, my game, and how I learn," said Roig.
Roig participated in her first tournament when she was 6 and eventually began competing in over 14 tournaments a year. Some of the more notable tournaments: the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship at Royal Portush, Women's Western Amateur Championship, and the Florida's Natural Charity Classic - Futures tournament.
Roig has also had the opportunity to play at the LPGA Qualifier. Roig made it past the first round but decided not to continue because it conflicted with her first week of school as a freshman at UCLA.
Roig's golf career has taken her all over the world. For the first eight years of her life, Roig lived in Puerto Rico until she moved to Brazil for the next two. Roig's father then got a job in Florida where she has lived since.
In 2008, Roig played in Australia in the World Amateur Golf Championships for Puerto Rico. Roig has also played in South Africa, Ireland, Argentina and many other places in South America.
"Being able to play in all these different countries has helped my game because I have now played in many different conditions [of weather], it is also just a much different environment than playing here," she said.
After living in three different countries, she is now fluent in four languages: Spanish, Portuguese, English and Italian.
"(Living in different countries) has also helped me understand and be more accepting of different kinds of people," she said.
Roig's golf coach at UCLA Carrie Forsyth said that Roig's travels are a unique characteristic.
"Kyle brings a different flare to the team. It is not often we get someone on the golf team that isn't from California or the west coast," Forsyth said. "The fact that she has lived in three different countries is great.
"She is the humor on the team. She really takes the stress out of the team and is able to just be herself."
Roig said she has enjoyed the start of her career as a Bruin.
"It is a lot of fun to play on this team. They are really good and fun to be around because I can be myself around them," she said. "The coaching staff is awesome. I am really lucky to be here."
Roig is currently ranked No. 4 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Women's Player Rankings.
"I try not to think about the rankings. Just because someone is not ranked doesn't mean they aren't good," said Roig. "Every day is new and you can lose when you're ranked high and win when you aren't ranked."
Roig competed in her first collegiate tournament, the Fall Preview, at the end of September, and finished tied for 39th at 10-over-par.