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Off & Running

Off & Running

Note: The following appears in the Notre Dame gameday football program. To purchase a copy of the program while supplies last, send a check for $6 to Clemson Athletic Communications; P.O. Box 31; Clemson, S.C. 29633 with your return address.

By Rachel Eagleton // Athletic Communications

Beginner’s luck is what some critics might say when they hear that freshman golfer Alice Hewson has now officially made history with victories in her first two tournaments. She recorded each of the top-two low rounds in school history within her first four rounds.

This is remarkable stuff, but Hewson begs to differ. She has been training for this moment her entire life.

“In 2010, I won the national championships for my age,” said Hewson. “Since I was around 10, I would tell people I wanted to be a professional golfer. It feels incredible to have had the opportunity to make such an impact already.”

Originally from the United Kingdom, Hewson is the Tigers’ first international player. But after being urged to tour Clemson by one of her father’s colleagues, a huge Tiger fan and IPTAY member, Hewson recalled that her choice to come to Clemson was an easy one.

“My family was already planning a trip over to the U.S., to visit six other universities. However, I loved everything Clemson had to offer me. It was the perfect fit…the size of the campus, how pretty it was, the coaches and the facilities. It was everything I had planned out before I came over.”

In her short time at Clemson, Hewson has made news with a second-round 65 at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C., the low round in school history by three shots. She finished with a six-under-par 210 total for the 54 holes to win co-medalist honors.

The next week, she shot 67 in the first round of the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greenville, just one shot off the record for a tournament that has been in existence since the 1970s. She went on to post a wire-to-wire victory by two shots. She has played six rounds for Clemson and is nine-under par for those rounds.

One tactic she employs to help her stay on her game is preparation through visualization for each shot. This allows her to remain focused and execute difficult shots in high-stakes moments.

“Before I start my routine, I do all of my thinking, such as the yardage and how the wind or lie is going to affect the ball. But once I have chosen my club and my target, I am completely focused on making a good swing on the ball and executing the shot I chose.”

While Hewson is no beginner in the golf world, she believes that being from the United Kingdom allows her to bring unique skills to the team. She also enjoys watching her teammates play and seeing how they execute their shots so that she can learn more from their experiences.

“Back home, I am used to playing certain shots different ways and seeing different trajectories than the players here,” said Hewson. “So it is good to be able to add another dimension to the team.

“The grass (in the United States) is very different and I haven’t played a huge amount of competitive golf here, so it is really interesting to see how my teammates play the shots.”

No matter how well Hewson plays on the greens, she gives the credit for her success to her coaches and teammates.

“I think a huge reason that I got off so well comes down to my team and coaches. It has been a huge change coming over from the U.K., and they have all been incredible. There is no way I would be as happy and settled as I am now without their help. I am so grateful for everything they have done for me already.”

With the humility and grace of an athlete who seems to have been there before, one thing is for sure…this Tiger is just getting started.

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