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MacManus finds his American side

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Tarquin MacManus

Arizona junior golfer Tarquin MacManus heads to his car at Arizona National Golf Cllub after a day of practice.  He's out of the public eye for a few hours, so what now?


""I like to cook,"" MacManus said. ""That probably sounds weird, but I don't do a whole lot other than that and golf.""


The golfer from Queensland, Australia traveled over 7,500 miles from his home to attend the University of Arizona and play golf for head coachRick LaRose.


As big of an adjustment as life on the other side of the globe might seem, he misses the little things more than anything.


""It's just a few subtle things that you don't see at home or you do here. I guess driving on the other side of the road is pretty big but that's about it,"" MacManus said. ""Rugby league is my favorite sport – it's sort of native to my state back home. I don't really get to follow it over here, I just catch some games when I go home.""


""I've started watching basketball a lot,"" he added. ""That's my favorite sport over here.""


That alone makes him fit in just fine here in Tucson.


Music is something that provides an escape for your every day college student, and can act as a motivator to athletes. It is often part of a country's culture, but MacManus hasn't had to make an adjustment to the music played in the U.S., mainly because he already listened to it.


""I mostly like older rock,"" MacManus said. ""Nothing in particular — just whatever happens to be on the radio.""


MacManus hasn't had trouble adapting to his new location, even though it's often difficult for students only hundreds of miles from home.


MacManus attended Kelvin Grove, a prep school with a specialty program in golf, which prepared him for the college environment.


""Where I went to high school was a ways away from my parents … I lived with my auntie and uncle,"" the Aussie said. ""I moved away from home to go to more of a golf hub in Australia.  The sport wasn't really on the scene in my home town.""


His experience at Kelvin Grove didn't prepare him for one of the most difficult parts of being a college student-athlete — the travel. However, he sets a perfect example of how to act on the road.


""He's one of the guys that you never have to worry about getting into trouble,"" said teammate Rich Saferian. ""He's always doing the right thing. He's going to be great for the freshmen next year …


He will be a good person for them to look up to and get an example from.""


Competitiveness is something that you will find in any great athlete – whether it is on the field or playing cards. Assistant coach Andy Barnes sees it in MacManus.


""Typically he is best at competing at everything he does"" Barnes said. ""I wouldn't say that he really does anything to impress you, but he'll be ready to go against anybody – be it the No. 1 player in the country or some nobody.""


MacManus is the No. 1 golfer at the UA right now, but being the best in the country could be just over the horizon.


""I was up in the air about (coming to the United States) for a while, but when I was ending high school I thought it would be the best option for me,"" MacManus said.


""This is where I want to turn pro, so I might as well get used to it now.""


It looks like he might be here to stay.


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