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Freshman improves throughout season

<p>Freshman Taylor Clark has improved her average score from the fall. Now averaging 78.22, Clark is averaging more than a stroke fewer.</p>

Freshman Taylor Clark has improved her average score from the fall. Now averaging 78.22, Clark is averaging more than a stroke fewer.

As a freshman in college, it is difficult to adjust to daily life, especially for a student athlete. But that is exactly what Taylor Clark has done.

The Sterling Height, Mich., native chose the Rutgers women’s golf team primarily because of head coach Maura Ballard.

“[Rutgers] offered me the ability to challenge myself athletically and academically,” Clark said. “Rutgers is a great school, however, my decision was ultimately the result of [head] coach [Maura] Ballard’s optimistic and passionate leadership here at Rutgers.”

Ballard commended Clark’s accomplishments in her first season.

“She has accomplished a lot more this year than we typically see from our freshmen,” Ballard said. “I am not surprised at how well she is doing here as I saw her passion and motivation during the recruiting process.”

Clark came into the season wanting to learn and to contribute to her team.

“I entered my freshman year with the mindset that I would work hard and apply the incredible training provided by Rutgers and coach Ballard to my golf game,” Clark said. “I knew that I would dedicate myself to being a contributor on this team and help reach our goals.”

Clark has done just that since arriving at Rutgers. She has competed in every tournament this season and put in impressive performances March 2-4 at the Kiawah Spring Invitational (88-76-72) and March 16-18 the Monterey Invitational (78-82-78).

Clark has improved this season to an average score of 78.22, a stroke less than 79.79 average fall score. As the year has progressed, she has improved her game, fixing every possible aspect and dealing with the adverse conditions that present themselves.

The freshman’s improvement can be attributed to the “extensive workout program” that the team goes through. Clark’s continued practice allows her to have the confidence necessary to keep getting better and working on the different aspects of her game.

Clark continues to work hard and follow through on straightening out her mechanics in the offseason as well. She also works on her mental game to develop the confidence and focus necessary to improve and continue to be a strong competitor.

Clark is quickly on the rise and it can be argued she is the best golfer on the team, but her focus is on the team’s performance.

“I feel that I have contributed to the success of our team, but I also look to continue to work hard and improve further to help our team work toward our goals,” Clark said.

Ballard praised Clark’s consistency.

“Taylor’s strength is her consistency on the golf course. She has a very fundamentally sound and repeatable golf swing. She hits the ball straight and always keeps the ball in play,” Ballard said. “Taylor has also made great strides in her mental game this year. She has committed to our Vision54 techniques to stay focused on the task at hand and to keep a positive mindset. She has vision for her success and takes the necessary steps to reach it.”

For updates on the Rutgers women’s golf team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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