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Stoll commits to U of A

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Beaverton High girls golfer Gigi Stoll committed to the University of Arizona for the 2015-16 season.

The University of Arizona women’s golf program has received a huge boon, a possibly program-changing recruit who can take the Wildcats back to the pinnacle of the Pac-12.

Beaverton High junior Gigi Stoll— a golfing wunderkind who participated in the U.S. Women’s Open at the ripe age of 15— committed to the Wildcats in December, giving the UA a rare talent who some observers think is talented enough to go pro from the high school ranks.

“I felt like I was ready,” said Stoll. “I knew Arizona was the place I wanted to go. I just felt, if I was ready, that I might as well commit. College is a really good experience, and my coaches will be able to get me to that next step. I want to go to college and have that experience... I’d like to help carry my team.”

Golf at the Division One level is different than most D1 sports in that collegiate programs try to secure verbal commitments as early as possible, even years ahead of the actual signing day.

For instance, Stoll will graduate from Beaverton High School in 2015, but she was one of the last Wildcats to commit for the 2015-16 season. Stoll estimated Arizona only has two spots open for its 2015 class and normally only accepts one or two new players every year. So, while there was no pressure or rush to pledge her prodigal skills to the Wildcats, Stoll wanted it to be known U of A was her future home rather than watch someone else take her place.

Stoll visited at least eight possible schools, but fell in love with Arizona’s campus and its multitude of academic avenues. Undecided on which major to pursue, Stoll said Arizona offered a number of choices when it comes to her future education. The always-warm Tucson weather affords Stoll the chance to play golf year-round for a program that the current Beaver says has great coaches and courses to compete on.

Going in, Stoll noted it’ll be fun getting to know a new team and meeting different golfers she’s never participated with. The possibility of going straight from high school to the pro LPGA circuit has been brought up in the past when discussing Stoll’s sterling future. Yet, the powerful righty who can drive the ball 270 yards off the tee said she’s focused on taking her mighty swing to the desert and helping the Wildcats perform well as a program.

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Beaverton High girls golfer Gigi Stoll committed to the University of Arizona for the 2015-16 season.

A school that’s produced the likes of LPGA pros Lorena Ochoa, Natalie Gulbis and Annika Sorenstam, the UA has a reputation for grooming future superstars and taking their games to another stratosphere. Plus, under third-year head coach Laura Ianello, the Wildcats have finished first, second, and third in the Pac-12, the past three seasons, respectively. As a team player, who enjoys winning as a squad, Stoll sought to be part of a winning tradition, a great player who wants to play with other great players.

“I think they’re bringing in some new recruits from my class and years after, so they’ll be pretty strong when I get there,” said Stoll. “I’m pretty excited about that. The coaches can help me mentally get to the next step. Once you get to college, your game should be at its peak. But, they can help you maintain those low scores and improve your game by doing the little things.”



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