Wildcats travel across the world
The men's and women's golf teams are truly spanning the globe to play their first tournament of the year, traveling 8,279 miles to play in the Topy Cup in Tanagura, Japan.
The tournament, just outside of Tokyo, will take place all day today and tomorrow for the men's team, however the women's team will be in Japan a little longer because their tournament lasts until Sept. 13.
The UA will be joined by ASU, Fresno State and Texas A&M; University on the men's side, while the women will be joined by University of California, Davis. There will also be several Japanese teams and individuals. Last year, this tournament was won by the University of Washington for the men and Arizona Sate for the women.
Nobody on either team thinks that the long travel time will affect play during the tournament.
""No way, not at all,"" said women's head coach Laura Ianello when asked about the distance. ""Our girls know what they have to do. Just because it is in Japan doesn't make it any different from any other tournament we have to compete in this year.""
Although both teams said they are not worried about any possible consequences of the long travel time, they both left for Japan a few days earlier than necessary.
""Me, coming from Australia, I am pretty accustomed to (the time difference),"" said senior Tarquin MacManus. ""A few of the other foreign boys on the team have all traveled before and I don't think it's too much of an issue.""
MacManus is expected to be one of the leaders on this year's team and he likes what he sees so far out of the Wildcats.
""I feel like the best leadership is by the way of playing and leading by example I guess,"" MacManus said. ""Not just in golf, but in managing yourself and representing the UA.""
MacManus shares the leadership role with fellow senior, Jonathon Khan.
""We kind of just guide them, let them know what's going on, help them during practice, things like that,"" Khan said.
The women's team is heading into the tournament with lofty expectations after being slotted in the fifth spot in Golfweek's annual preseason Top 30. This is the same spot the women had last year when they placed fifth in the NCAA championship.
Both teams have their eyes set on nationals this year and the Topy Cup is just the first step in achieving that.
""I would like to make nationals and compete. (I am) sick of not being there and not being able to compete,"" Khan said. ""Hopefully we go out with a bang.""