As she packed for college Friday, Conway’s Summar Roachell was watching the Solheim Cup.
More watching than packing.
“I was actually glued to the televison; it brought back a lot of memories,” she said.
She was a member of the Junior Solheim Cup team and helped the United States retain it in Scotland.
With her usual college gear, Roachell will carry some Junior Solheim Cup memorabilia such as a ball marker and wrist bands as good luck charms.
Roachell, one of the most successful golfers in Conway history (and that’s saying a lot) headed for Fayetteville on Saturday to begin her career with the Arkansas Razorback women’s golf team.
The four-time Class 7A state golf champion has been preparing for the experience for a long time. An unabashed Hog fan, she committed early and never wavered.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “Any kid growing up in this state who has been a Razorback fan, getting to play for the Hogs is a dream.”
She cut back on her amatuer summer schedule to get ready.
“The coaches didn’t want me to play a lot of events to make sure I didn’t get burned out,” she said. “I mainly focused on a couple of major events that had stroke play, then match play. It was not a great summer as far as how I played, but it was a good summer.
“I played pretty well in my last tournament (a four-states event), so I’m going up there with a lot of confidence and some momentumm. I didn’t do particularly well in an earlier event (at Pinehurst, N.C.) but I did some good things, and that’s what I take from that.”
What did she work on to prepare for the college experience?
“Consistency is the big thing for me,” she said. “If I can hit greens and my short game is okay, that would be good. The short game makes the difference in those players who win and those who don’t.”
Her first tournament with the Razorbacks will be Sept. 8-10 for the NCAA preview event at the Tulsa Country Club, Having a tournament with the top collegiate golf teams at the NCAA tournament site is the first major event on the fall schedule..
“I think we can have a good team (at the University of Arkansas),” she said. “We have four or five girls who are gonna really push each other. It’s gonna be very competitive each week to qualify to play in the next tournament.”
She leaves Conway with a lot of great memories.
“High school golf was so much fun,” she said. “I’ll never forget being able to give coach (Janet Taylor) her first girls state title. That was a highlight. I have several friends who are going to Arkansas, so we’re going to try to get together some.”
While she’ll be playing golf, she’ll be watching other sports.
“It will be awesome to see games when I can,” she said. “SEC football ... SEC sports. Can’t beat it.”
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or email@example.com)