Bright future ahead for women’s golf

Ben Voelker, Sports Editor

The future is looking bright for the Ashland University women’s golf team, as the team comes off the heels of a fifth-place finish at the GMAC Championships in Lexington, Ky. Under first year head coach Bill Pollock, the program has built a solid core of young players that figure to play a key role in the team’s rise in the near future.

Pollock was originally drawn to Ashland as a parent, when his daughter Megan Pollock played golf as Eagle for two years. As a parent, Pollock fell in love with the team atmosphere. With his foot already in the door, Pollock realized he could truly make a difference for the team.

“It was the best family atmosphere in 12 years of golf I’ve ever experienced,” Pollock said. “I use that when I recruit now. Not only am I a coach, but I’m a parent. I’ve been through the process that these recruits and parents are going through.”

Pollock’s main focus in rebuilding the program is stability. He hopes to put an end to the recent trend of short head coaching tenures within the program and become a staple of the women’s golf team for years to come.

“We need some continuity and stability in the program,” Pollock said. “[Other schools] use that to try to recruit against Ashland. I’ll go on record right now, I’m going to be here. They know I’m going to be here.”

At the GMAC Championships, the freshman duo of Samantha Webb and Emma Conway tied for 14th place. Freshman Grace Grant was not too far behind, in 24th place.

Webb in particular has had a standout freshman year. This season, Webb shot four eagles, claiming the program record for most eagles in both a single season and in an entire career. Even more impressive is that she missed a majority of the fall season with a pulled back muscle.

“I came in and practiced from 8 to midnight almost every day,” Webb said. “It was not the greatest idea. One day after qualifiers, I went out to the range and I practiced more. An hour into practice, it hurt really bad. There were sharp pains going up my spine, my legs were going numb because the muscle was so inflamed.”

After Pollock learned of Webb’s injury, he pulled Webb from the upcoming Beall Fall Classic in Findlay, Ohio, much to Webb’s dismay. However, Webb realized that properly rehabbing the injury was for the best.

“If I would’ve wound up playing that tournament, I probably wouldn’t be playing in the spring, to be honest,” Webb said.

Regardless, the injury is only a testament to Webb’s work ethic. This behavior is reflected throughout the other golfers on the team. It is this mentality that Pollock loves and what made him fall in love with coaching the team in the first place.

“It’s not about me, it’s about them,” Pollock said. “I’m just giving back to the game from what my daughter was given. I have compassion and passion for the team. My daughter brought me here, but the school kept me here.”