5 questions with Arkansas’ Gabriela Lopez
5 questions with Arkansas Razorbacks' Gabriela Lopez
Freshman Gabriela Lopez of Mexico City earned her first collegiate victory Feb. 25 at the Westbrook Invitational at Westbrook Village GC in Peoria, Ariz.
1. How does it feel to win your first college tournament?
It feels awesome. To represent my country, the university, the team and myself is just awesome. It’s a great opportunity to improve and move forward with my game. My recent results have been amazing in showing how I’ve been growing for the past five months at Arkansas. My short game and putting have been huge and I am just so grateful for my coaches to help me in improving my golf skills and mental skills.
2. Did you know you shot a course-record, 6-under 66 at Westbrook Village Golf Club during the final round?
No, I had no idea, until now. (Laughs) I was just playing, you know? It was my lowest competitive round and it feels awesome. It just shows that I can go low when I am fully committed to what I’m doing. I feel like I can do great things in the future. Everyday in practice, it’s a process, and it has paid off.
3. What’s the best part of your game right now?
My putting for sure. I had 32 putts in the first round, 23 in the second and 27 in the last round. I’ve been practicing that the most. I changed putters a few months ago as I went to a lighter shaft. It's just keeping the same focus I’ve had all year. I know it can go in the hole, and that’s the different between 32 and 23 putts.
4. What’s been the biggest adjustment from junior to college golf?
I think for me it’s a double adjustment, because it’s a different country, culture and language, plus the golf. It’s the quality of practice hours, too. It’s way better than when I was a junior. I practice every shot and commit 100 percent to practice. My teammate Regina Plasencia, who is from Mexico, too, has been so helpful. We just understand each other and we're from the same culture. It’s just nice to have her here with me.
5. What are your goals for the rest of the season?
I think as a team, it would be to compete and win every single tournament we have left because we have been so close in the last few. And I know we can win. We have the best team, coaches and facilities. And I would love to be named SEC freshman of the year — but the main goal is to keep improving and going low as much as possible.