Q & A With Darren Wallace

May 26, 2008

Sophomore Darren Wallace and the Huskies head to West Lafayette, Ind., this week for the NCAA Championships. The Huskies qualified for the event with their fourth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional which UW hosted at Gold Mountain Golf Club. Wallace, like three of his other teammates, will be making his first NCAA Championships appearance. He sat down with GoHuskies.com correspondent Emily Florence to talk about the team's experience at regionals and the upcoming nationals at Purdue.

GoHuskies.com: How has your season been overall for you?
Darren Wallace: 'I think overall it has been a battle. It's been up and down but making it to Nationals is definitely a bright side to the season.'

GH: Can you take me through how you performed day by day at Regionals?
DW: 'I started out alright in my first round and struggled in the second round. It was a long hard day out there in the second round, but the third round I kind of brought it back. I worked hard after the second round and practiced a lot, and then came out alright after third round.'

GH: What were the team's thoughts going into the last day of Regionals?
DW: 'We were all excited. We were all playing pretty well and liked how we were sitting going into the final round. Just excited about making it to Nationals'

GH: Were you expecting to do so well in Regionals and make it to the NCAA's?
DW: 'We knew because it was at our home course that we had a pretty good advantage over the rest of the field. Our goal was to make it to nationals and we accomplished what we wanted to so everyone was pretty happy about it.'

GH: What is the team's mindset going into Nationals?
DW: 'We want to go in there and prove a lot of people wrong. We kind of underachieved this year and a lot of people have been sort of looking down on us a little bit during the year so we want to go out there and to prove that we are still a top school.'

GH: What are your goals personally going into Nationals?
DW: 'Personally, I'd like to get a good finish in postseason and if I play well I feel like I can finish in the top-20.'

GH: Are you focusing on anything in particular to get ready for NCAAs?
DW: 'Definitely a lot of short game. I heard the course was going to be playing tough and long, so you're going to have some shots that you won't hit great and you've got to be able save those shots on the short game with putting.'

GH: Because this is your first time going to nationals, are you excited, nervous, or do you just see it like any other tournament?
DW: 'I'm definitely excited because the stage is a lot bigger than our other tournaments. I just really want to get out there and play up to my standards. I'm excited about it, it's going to be a lot of fun.'

GH: Do you know anything else about the course you will be playing on?
DW: 'I've never played it, but from what the other guys have said who have played it in the past, they say it plays tough, so I'm looking forward to the test.'

GH: How long have you been golfing?
DW: 'I have been golfing for probably a good 17 years. My parents got me started out young and I really started taking it seriously when I was about 12.'

GH: Where is the coolest place you have traveled to for golf?
DW: 'Probably to Fiji, it was pretty much paradise.'

GH: What made you choose the University of Washington?
DW: 'Early on the Coach Thurmond showed a lot of interest in me. I really liked the environment here and it was close to home. I really liked what I saw when I came down on my visit, so I made my decision pretty early on.'

GH: What do you like to do in your free time besides play golf?
DW: 'I'm a pretty active person, I like to play a lot of other sports and I also like to go watch a lot of movies. I'm a pretty avid movie watcher.'

GH: What are you majoring in?
DW: 'I'm going to be majoring in Econ, or hope to. I haven't declared yet but that is the plan.'

GH: Do you have any fun summer plans? Are you planning on playing in any tournaments?
DW: 'Not really, I'm planning on playing just a couple tournaments up in Canada, where I'm from. I really want to take this summer off and just work on my game because I feel like I need to make a step to the next level. I feel like I need to need to practice.'

GH: Good luck at the NCAAs!
DW: 'Thank you.'

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