Focused on the fairway
The men's and women's golf teams will begin their 2010-11 season in the upcoming week looking to continue the storied tradition of golf at the University of Arizona.
Director of golf and the men's head coach Rick LaRose always expects his teams to contend for titles, no matter how young they may be.
""(It's) the same thing we always look for at Arizona,"" LaRose said. ""We look to win the Pac-10 championship and the national championship those are always are goals here.""
After facing a sudden head coaching change in the offseason, the future of the women's team is uncertain. Taking the helm for the women is first year coach and former Wildcat Laura Ianello— who competed for Arizona under former head coach Laura Myerscough— and was on the team for the 2000-01 National Championship.
""Laura was my assistant last year when I took the (women's team) over,"" LaRose said. ""I thought she would do a good job.""
Ianello isn't letting her inexperience as a head coach dampen her outlook on the upcoming season. With one All-American already on the roster, Ianello feels like the team can really get things going from the start.
""I feel like with the team we have this year we can no doubt win every tournament that we play in. That is our goal and just keep playing the best we can,"" Ianello said. ""Margarita Ramos is one of our All-Americans I would love to see all five of our girls get All-American honors this year.""
The lone senior on the squad, Alejandra Llaneza, likes what she sees with the coaching change so far. Llaneza is the team captain of the young Wildcats, and one of their best players.
""It has been more structured and more organized,"" Llaneza said. ""The coaches have set more goals in the beginning of practice, so we have specific things to work on, but then we can work on our own thing. I think it has helped us in just staying more focused.""
The men's team and get past the inconsistent play that seemed to linger for too long last year.
""We need to play better than we played last year. We played pretty well at times but not consistently,"" LaRose said. ""I think that will come from our older players, our leaders. They certainly have to be the leaders this year and pull the train a little bit.""
One of those older players that LaRose is talking about is Tarquin MacManus. MacManus, arguably the Wildcats top golfer, was selected to the PING All-Region team this past summer and was also selected to the All-Region team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. According to LaRose, those awards won't be all MacManus will be taking home this year.
""I think Tarquin MacManus is as good as any player in the country,"" LaRose said. ""He certainly has the heart and the desire to succeed. He just needs to learn how to put it all together.""