Monday press conference: Todd Oehrlein

Women's golf coach discussed his team's preparation for the Badger Invitational, which takes place Sept. 11-12

Opening statement

"We just started practice on Friday. We just, we got started when school officially began, and we've been out at the golf course... all this weekend, and we'll have our team selected later on today, what the lineup will look like for this weekend for our upcoming event.

"I've been pleased so far out there this week... We have more depth this year than what we've had in the past. That's going to bring, add a lot of competition and make things competitive and they've done a nice job so far this weekend.

"Scores, you know, not only have they beeen close and competitive and there's some pressure and some tension with that, they're competitive at a high level as well. And they've prepared really well this summer. They've worked hard. They are anxious to get started. They're looking forward to it. And they came in ready to go and so we're looking forward to next weekend.

"The team, we return all of our players, we return all of our players from last year's lineup that played significant time last year, added a few. A couple of freshmen that are going to be able to contribute immediately this year, as well as a player that redshirted last year for us. She played as a true freshman, redshirted last year, and now she's back in the lineup again this year. So that dimension adds a little depth for us and makes us a little more competitive in practices and such.

"Coming into next week, you know, we're looking for a lot of leadership out of our two seniors. Jackie Obermueller and Lindsay McMillan are our two seniors. They're returning. They've played since they were true freshmen here, are playing very well right now this weekend. They're our two leaders right now, kind of walking away with it, and they've played very solid so far this weekend. And we're going to look for that type of consistency out of those two all season long. We're going to need that from them.

"The remaining players, the returning players, have played well. Just we need to get a little more consistency out of them, is all we need. They've gone out, put up a nice solid round, shoot 75 one day, and then a 79 or 80 the next and they are kind of right back in the mix with the rest of them. So we just need to see consistency improve out of the remaining players and we're prepared and ready to go for next weekend.

"The field is outstanding.We're excited about hosting the tournament, getting the opportunity to host again this year. With the men hosting the men's Big Ten championships last year, we actually didn't host an invitational last year. We're really excited about getting back at it this year. We have 12 teams, including ourselves. A very strong field. And, you know, it'd be a great way for us to get the season, to get it started and get it kicked off.

"We're real looking forward to having and hosting everybody at our golf course. The players are excited about that, they missed that last year, and are really looking forward to it this year. So I guess at this point, I mean, that's kind of where we're at."

I just wanted to ask you about your freshman class and is Isabelle (Alvarez) any relation to the athletics director?

"No relation, but actually from very similar areas, very similar parts of Spain."

Tell us about her, if you could?

"Yeah, Isabelle has done, played a very competitive international schedule, a couple of years ago finished third in the British junior amateur championship. Has came in, the adjustment is going well right now. It's going very well.

"She's got a lot of ability, a lot of talent. She makes some freshman mistakes out there right now as well though. You can tell she's young in the way she plays. But she's got a lot of ability. We're really looking forward to it. She seems to be adjusting very well, seems to be very happy, really enjoying the team, and the university, and the whole city."

You just mentioned some of Isabelle's success that she's had. In looking at some of the other players, they're names that people are familiar with in this area from having a lot of successes in their prep careers and in their summer careers. How much does that help in setting high goals because they're already winners and used to winning a lot of things and competing and what is the realistic goal for the team this year?

"Well, I think that's a big part of recruiting for all, for everybody. I mean, that's something that we look for. We definitely want players from strong backgrounds, solid individuals, and we're looking for players that know how to win and compete. And it's something that you definitely look for.

"Goals and expectations, along those lines, I mean, we're looking to win every tournament we play in. I mean, you know, those are the goals. I mean, you don't look to go into an event and just play okay. I mean, you want to win every tournament that you play in.

"We have a lot of respect for the people that are going to be in this field this weekend and it's going to be competitive, and there are some really strong teams in this field and we won't be able to go and just play mediocre or average and walk away with a victory. We have to play well and play solid, but we're capable of that and those are, you know, those are the goals and we take it, you know, we're focusing on the Badger Invitational this weekend and get the team as prepared and ready to go for this event."

... You mentioned consistency being a challenge. Would you say that that is the biggest challenge of the team this year or are there other things that you think you need to work on?

"No, I think that's probably the biggest challenge. I think that's the biggest challenge in golf in general really. If you look at the best players at any level, they play consistently, you know, whether they're playing on tour, a 76 kind of takes you out of the tournament. If you're playing in college, an 80 takes you out of a tournament. You know, so we're looking for that consistency.

"You know, to do that in golf, you need to see your short games improve, you need to make a few more putts, you need to eliminate the big numbers. And, you know, a lot of that is just development with their golf games. A lot of that is maturity. You know, we have a nice mix and a nice blend with some upperclassmen and some young player. The young players bring a lot of energy and excitement and some talent, but we need some direction, some leadership and some composure out of the upperclassmen as well."

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