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A Global Draw

September 09, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

The women's golf team opens the season this week at its only home tournament of the year--the "Mo"Morial--Monday (Sept. 9) through Wednesday (Sept. 11) at Traditions Club.

The field will play 18 holes each day starting in the morning and admission is free.

Click here for complete information.

A GLOBAL DRAW

talented freshman trio comes from around the globe to join the Aggie family

by Dini Susanto '15
AggieAthletics.com

Though the Spirit of Aggieland is one that can ne’er be told—not in English, much less in Thai, Spanish, or Italian—it’s one that can always be felt, despite any language or cultural barrier.

Captured by the spirit and united by their love for their sport, three new talents on the Texas A&M women’s golf team found a new home thousands of miles from their old one among their new Aggie family.

“I wanted to go to a place where the weather was good—I think it’s a bit too hot here,” laughed freshman Bianca Fabrizio, who hails from Treviso in Italy, a city in the north of the country about 20 miles from Venice. “I decided to come here because of the atmosphere of Aggieland and the spirit of this place. Everybody is so kind.”

Thanya Pattamakijsakul and Andrea Jonama, also new faces on the women’s golf team, agreed. All three said that head coach Trelle McCombs and her husband, John, treat the girls  on the team like their own daughters. Their teammates—or adopted siblings—give them rides to help them get around town.

“[Coach McCombs] would ask, ‘How are you today?’ or even ‘Did you sleep well?’ It’s nice. I feel like [I’m] home,” said Pattamakijsakul, who is from Nonthaburi—a suburb of Bangkok, Thailand.

"I decided to come here because of the atmosphere of Aggieland and the spirit of this place. Everybody is so kind."

- Bianca Fabrizio

According to McCombs, this “family atmosphere” is one of the most important aspects of the team, which she emphasizes particularly to students coming from distant places.

Likewise, Jonama, Fabrizio, and Pattamakijsakul contribute to the team effort in their own ways.

“My strongest point is my short game, my ability to do the up-and-downs, which makes me feel more comfortable with all my games,” said Jonama, who is from Barcelona, Spain.

Fabrizio, on the other hand, said she finds her strength in her long game.

“From what I’ve seen so far, [Bianca] is a very dynamic player. She’s going to make a lot of birdies, and birdies are always exciting,” McCombs said. “She’s exciting to watch.”

What about 5-foot-2 Pattamakijsakul?

“[Thanya] is small in stature, but she can keep it out there—meaning she can hit with the rest of them—and she’s very straight, so she’s going to get a lot of consistency,” said McCombs, who watched her play several times before recruiting her. Over the summer, Pattamakijsakul competed in junior tournaments held in the U.S.

Thanya, on the contrary, prides herself in a non-technical skillset: her composure.

“In golf, you don’t know what can happen,” Pattamakijsakul said. “On the driving range, you can hit [however many] balls you want, but in a tournament, it’s only one shot at a time…you can practice all week for a tournament, but then you [play] really badly and you kind of get really angry, so it’s good to [be able to] control your emotions.”

“Golf is so emotional [in nature], so to be able to keep your composure and have that be a strength of yours—I feel like you’ve gained several strokes on the field already,” McCombs added.

In addition, in the spirit of Aggies helping Aggies, the girls have each learned to balance a decade of strictly individual play with a new team dynamic.

“I don’t like to play against my teammates, because it’s kind of strange,” Jonama said. “[When you’re playing], you have to think, in that moment, just for you and don’t [worry] about your teammates.”

“You have enough time to spend on your game, then you can just stay another 10 minutes to help another girl,” added Fabrizio, recalling a recent moment when she helped check Jonama’s putt. “It’s not something that bothers me. I like helping other people.”

So as the threesome makes the transition to not only collegiate golf, but life in America, so does McCombs’ team--as it welcomes a new international flair. It’s something that everyone associated with the program is excited about watching over the coming months, as the Aggies gun for an SEC and national championship.

“Having such an international, diverse team is something that is really new to me, so I’m learning them, and they’re learning us,” McCombs said. “From what I can see so far, the girls are jelling pretty well, and I’m just super excited to have them.”



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