Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

UA Golf Duo Learning on Fly

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

UA Golf Duo Learning on Fly

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | Justin Thomas and Stephanie Meadow say they would not trade their unique experiences on the University of Alabama golf team for the world. In fact, because of Alabama golf, they've seen a lot more of the world.

Both played in the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship in October in Antalya, Turkey. Thomas played for the U.S. team. Meadow played for Northern Ireland.

Meadow is a junior from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. She has been in the U.S. for six years and attended Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head, S.C., before coming to UA.

Meadow said a board selects the national amateur team based on rankings. She said she loved playing in Turkey, although she didn't get to see much away from the golf course.

Thomas is a sophomore from Goshen, Ky. He came to UA as one of the top five recruits in the nation and has been playing golf since he was 2 years old. He said he grew up around golf because his dad and grandfather both had been playing for as long as he can remember.

Thomas said playing in Turkey was an experience he will never forget.

"It was like nothing I have ever experienced," Thomas said. "It was such an honor, and winning was unbelievable."

Both credit much of their success to their coaches. Meadow and Thomas said the coaches welcomed them with open arms.

"Out of all my visits, I felt like they genuinely wanted me to be a part of the team here," Thomas said.

UA men's coach Jay Seawell said Thomas contributes a lot to the program.

"Justin has an infectious love for his teammates and the team," Seawell said. "Golf is an individual sport that we have put together as a team. He embraces that, and it is his greatest attribute."

Thomas and Meadow had to adjust to collegiate golf, and not just on the course.

"At first, it was hard. I don't have time to sit and watch TV like most people," Thomas said. "I came here to play golf. I would not trade it for the world."

Meadow said time management is key.

"I am used to it by now," she said. "It was a shock to the system a bit at first. I needed some time to relax, but I have learned to manage my time."

Meadow said she cherishes being part of Alabama's 2012 national championship team. …

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