Lisa McCloskey Q&A on NCAA-Record Performance

MALIBU, Calif. -- Playing in just her third collegiate tournament, Pepperdine freshman Lisa McCloskey (Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery HS) became the first women’s college golfer ever to break 200 when she won the Las Vegas Collegiate Shootout with an NCAA-record 17-under 199 earlier this week. With her 67-65-67, which did not include a single bogey, she helped the Waves to a first-place finish and another NCAA record with a team score of a 41-under 823. Lisa was one of the nation’s top recruits and was a four-time AJGA Rolex Junior All-American. She sat down for a few minutes to talk to about the record-setting win and the start of her college career.


Q: Has it sunk in that you’re the only women’s college golfer ever to shoot less than 200?


A: “It’s kind of weird. I don’t think it has sunk in yet. Maybe a couple of years from now. I’m just really happy that we played so well, both myself as an individual and all of us as a team.”


Q: Did you realize you were shooting a score so low?


A: “I didn’t think it was going to be a record or anything. Even after the second day I hadn’t heard anything about it. But it was pretty cool. I had no idea. Even after I finished, it was about an hour later when I heard about it.”


Q: What kind of pressure was it like, being in the hunt for your first college championship? It was a close race for the individual title.


A: “I played with one of the girls that was a stroke behind me all three days. I actually played with the other girl that tied for second one of the days. The one that I played with all three days, going into the last few holes, I thought we were tied for some reason. On the last hole there’s a creek running down the middle of the fairway. Both her and the other girl in the group hit it right in the middle of the creek, and it bounced back into the fairway. I actually hit a pretty good drive in the middle of the fairway. My putt was about an inch from going in, I almost had a heart attack. So I thought that was the winning putt, but it turned out I was 1-up going into the last hole ... Looking back I was pretty calm, but there’s a lot of pressure. It’s pretty indescribable. It’s something I’ve experienced before, but not at the collegiate level, only the junior level.”


Q: Have you ever had a run like this before, playing a tournament without any bogies?


A: “I think I’ve done two rounds without a bogey. I don’t think three, and I don’t think this low for a three-day tournament ... Coming into the tournament I was playing really well. At Stanford I think I missed only three greens, though I finished 4-over. I knew I could do it, it was just a matter of my putting.”


Q: What were your closest calls?


A: “On the last day, on number 5, it’s a par-4 dogleg right. I snap-hooked my drive left into the desert. I kind of duffed it out of the desert and back into the desert again. And then I punched out to about 30 yards away, but then I chipped it in for par. That was a good par. Also, on number 16 the last day, it was a par-5. I hit it right into the desert again. I had to hit an iron out into the fairway. I hit it to about three feet and made a birdie. So that was probably the biggest one because we were coming down to the end.”


Q: You had an eagle on the second day, what happened on that hole?


A: “It was on 16. All three of us in the group were about 220 out. I probably hit it within about five feet of the hole. So it was a pretty good shot, but everybody in the group hit it within about 10 feet of the hole. It was a pretty good hole for our group, we had two eagles and a birdie.”


Q: What was it about this tournament that allowed so many low scores?


A: “A lot of the par-5s were reachable on the back. Not on the front, but on the back both were reachable. Usually the wind will pick up but it was really calm. As long as you were hitting decent shots there were chances for birdies.”


Q: What have your first few months at Pepperdine been like?


A: “Stressful with school. It’s hard to miss school, our tournaments with Stanford and this one were close together. But it’s been a lot of fun too. I’m doing well with my studies, getting Bs.”


Q: Why did you choose Pepperdine?


A: “It was a combination of the golf team, the coaches, academics and the beach.”


Q: You graduated from high school a year early to start college. What made you decide to do that?


A: “My parents were moving to Dubai and I didn’t really want to go there to finish my senior year. So I did my senior year in about three months. It was the worst.”


Q: At the end of the fall season, you’ve got the best average on the team. Did you think you could step in and be one of the team’s top players right away?


A: “I have high expectations for myself, but I don’t think I would be considered the #1 player coming in. Taylore (Karle) played really well last year. Ayaka (Kaneko) is coming in in the spring and she’ll be a good addition.”


Q: What do you think about this team’s chances in the spring with as much talent that it has?


A: “It will depend on how we put it all together. For this tournament we all played pretty well and had a good score. But for the two tournaments before that it was streaky. The more tournaments we play and the more experience we get the better it will be.”




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