Oregon's Little Was Born To Be A Duck

- Championship Central

By Allison Siebenmann

In Kendra Little's case, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. As one of the best female golfers in recent history at the University of Oregon, Little knew she would one day play for the Ducks based on family ties. Her father, Doug Little, played basketball for the Ducks from 1971 to 1973, and her mother grew up in the Eugene area as well.

"My dad played basketball here and basically I just grew up a Duck fan," said Little. "I looked at other schools, but I always knew I was coming here. I grew up in Eugene and it was the right fit for me."

Little got involved in both basketball and golf in high school where she was skilled at both. She made the decision to play golf in college and committed to the University of Oregon for the 2007-2008 season.

Since her first year at Oregon, Little has excelled on the golf course. Recently, she competed in the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she shot 12-under-par. She called the performance the "highlight of her career."?

Little also has many other accomplishments that altogether make her one of Oregon's greatest collegiate golfers. She is a four-time collegiate event champion and the school tournament record holder.

While setting Oregon records on the golf course is hard work, Little finds time to enjoy the trips around the country for tournaments.

"Being able to travel has been the best experience," she said. "With golf, you play on the courses and then usually have some time to go out and experience the places you play at."

During those away meets, the daily practices, and constant team togetherness, Little has bonded and created a close, lifelong friendship with teammate Erica Omlid. When asked about her favorite memory as a member of Oregon's golf team, she referred to her relationship with Omlid.

"Building the relationship I have with my best friend and roommate, Erica, has been my favorite memory," Little said. "We grew up together as cross-town rivals in golf. We didn't really know each other but committed [to Oregon] basically the same time, and she has grown to be my best friend."

Although golf is a big part of Little's life, balancing athletics and academics has been difficult.

"It is probably a common answer you would hear throughout collegiate athletes, but balancing the two is difficult," she said.

While it has been hard, finding the balance has been beneficial for Little.

"I have learned a lot through that process and I have gotten better at time management. It really helped me improve my organizational skills and being accountable," Little said.

The future for Little is uncertain. As of now, the tentative plan is for her to go professional in golf, but it is a big step that she is not completely sure about.

"It is one of those decisions where you have to be one hundred percent in and I have to make sure that I am one hundred percent in," she said. "[Going professional] has always been the plan for me; whether or not I have always wanted to do that is kind of the question."

Whether or not Little goes professional, she has had a great opportunity to compete in one of the best collegiate conferences in the nation for women's golf.

"In my opinion, the Pac-10 is the best conference in the nation, or one of the best since I've been here," she said. "You go down the LPGA tour list and look at the players and a lot of them are from the Pac-10."

Playing in a top-notch conference has helped Little become a better golfer. Playing against the best golfers has given her confidence to compete at a higher level, and has helped her prepare for her potential future in the professional world of women's golf.

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