One week removed from the Bulls' fourth place finish at the NCAA championships, seniors Anna Acker and Jennie Holloway have had time to reflect on their careers at the University of South Florida. Both realize their last collegiate tournament was something special, and both were pleased that they achieved a large measure of success for themselves and the team.
"It was a nice feeling going into the tournament," said Acker, who spent her freshman season at Florida International University. "There were some mixed emotions of being excited and happy to be there, but I also knew it was my last college tournament."
Emotions aside and business at hand, Acker turned in a four-day total of 300 to finish tied for 13th, which was appropriate considering she entered the tournament rated as the 12th best player in the nation.
"I thought I was more prepared this year than last," she said. "It was a good way to end my career as an individual and for the team."
Holloway struggled considerably during the middle of the season. But she used her setbacks as a way to fuel the competitive fire that made her USF player of the year and the 36th best in the nation in 1989.
"I went through a bad slump at the middle of the semester," said Holloway, who carded a 310 at the NCAAs. "I worked hard to get my game back and tried to take some of the pressure off myself. Normally I would be upset if I shot a 76 instead of taking it easy and staying within myself. I learned to take it one step at a time, and that's a lesson learned in life as well."
Holloway and Acker also learned to appreciate the personal highlights that dotted their careers. Especially noteworthy was this year's Louisiana State University Invitational (March 15-17), which marked the turning point in the team's season.
It was a tournament like none other because of the strong winds and heavy rain. But the Bulls shot a three-day total of 898 to place at the top of the 13-team field.
"I had been in a slump, made some changes and shot a 74 the first day," Holloway said. "We had terrible weather, but that was the first tournament I played the way I like to play."
Her strong play was evidenced by her 11th-place finish with a stroke average of 77.0. Acker also weathered the storm with a third-place finish and 74.0 average.
"That was definitely the turning point for us," Acker said. "Given the weather, we had a great tournament. It was very important for us to do well because we needed to improve on our ranking."
Acker and Holloway have always ranked high with coach Dan Gierlach, who has nothing but praise for the two individuals.
"They are the kind of kids that you like to have around," he said. "They're not just good golfers, but quality people that lead by example and give a boost to the community."
The next step is graduation. Acker, a communication major, and Holloway, a geography major, will take courses over the summer and finish in the fall before graduating in December.
When their studies are complete, both would like to shoot for the LPGA.
"I'll probably qualify for the LPGA in the fall of 1992," Holloway said. "After I graduate, I will have eight months to work on my game and prepare for the tour."
Acker will juggle her school work and golf clubs later this summer. Toward the end of August and early September she plans to attend qualifying school.
"I'm going to put in a lot of hours of practice and plan to play in tournaments," she said. "I am going to see if I like the tour. If not, I'll just do something else."
Charity golf: Arvida's River Hills in Brandon will be home to a celebrity golf tournament for the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome on Monday, June 17. For an entry fee of $250, participants can play with past football greats Jim Taylor, Dick "Night Train" Lane and L.C. Greenwood. Former Buccaneers Lee Roy Selmon and Theo Bell will also be on hand. To register, please call 854-5365.
Father's Day: The 1991 Golf Privilege Card makes for a nice Father's Day gift. The card is now available from the Gulf Coast Lung Association and offers free greens fees at more than 300 golf courses throughout the state between now and Nov. 30. Cards are $25 apiece with discounts on quantity purchases. Call 223-4462 or 877-LUNG for further details.