NSU golfer Aitana Hernandez hopes to build off fall season
TNE Editor
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NSU golfer Aitana Hernandez hopes to build off fall season

11/1/18

Ebba Moberg

TNE Writer

Moving almost 5.000 miles away from home to pursue the sport that she loves, Aitana Hernandez from Alicante, Spain to is one of three new freshmen on NSU women’s golf roster, and she is ready to practice harder to play even better in the upcoming spring season.

“Aitana has had a major impact on our team,” said Scott Varner, NSU golf head coach. “She is clearly our second bag after all the tournaments and qualifiers this fall. She certainly had her struggles at times, but she was also outstanding at times and for the most part she has been solid and has helped us big time. We won two tournaments, and she was a big part of those two wins as far as her performance and really all year long. I am really proud of her.

She was introduced to golf as a 7-year-old by her father, who had played since his 20’s, and after attending a summer camp with her school, she was hooked.

“Apparently, I played well,” said Hernandez. “So, the Head Pro who was with us (at the camp) told my teachers that I was hitting the balls so well, and they passed that information to my parents. I liked golf a lot, so when my dad asked me if I wanted to play, I answered yes without thinking twice. At first, it was more of a hobby, but I started watching golf on TV and I realized that if they could play that well, why couldn’t I?”

Hernandez’s first fall season at NSU brought her two top-ten places and three top-25 places individually, as well as two team wins. Her lowest score was 72 and her highest was 78, which made Hernandez fall season average 75.2.

“Aitana has impacted the team with her positive and energetic attitude on and off the golf course,” said Halie Wright, The Colony, Texas senior. “On the course she has brought a positive attitude toward ‘we can accomplish anything.’ She is also a great player, so she has helped us get even more closer to where we want to be, (which is) winning a national championship.”

Growing up, Hernandez kept motivated and inspired by watching her role models, Rory McIlroy, Severiano Ballesteros and Miguel Ángel Jiménez play golf on TV.

“Obviously, I had moments of wanting to stop playing,” said Hernandez. “But, the desire to train, compete and to improve my game and to be a better player, helped me a lot. What I also love about golf, and what has kept me going, is that I can spend a lot of time outdoors and at the same time I can hang out with my friends.”

Before coming to the United States for golf, Hernandez was not sure whether to pursue a professional career in golf or to go into her second passion, which is business. She is planning to use the next three years at NSU to figure out whether she will stay in America or to move back to Spain, and whether to play golf on the next level or to go into business. Regardless of her plans after college, Hernandez expectations for the coming spring season stays the same.  

“My expectations going into spring are that if we continue playing as we are playing now, we are going to be able to win most of the tournaments in the spring,” said Hernandez. “That can only be achieved by fighting together and supporting each other. Individually, if I keep playing as I am and fighting as I am doing, I think I will be able to finish in more top-ten’s as well as being able to help my team to win tournaments.”

Being on the other side of the globe from parents and friends can be discouraging to any student, but Hernandez has found a lot of new friends in Tahlequah. And despite the culture being very different from what she is used to, Hernandez is thriving with her new teammates and is doing everything Varner would hope from a new player.

“I hate to give anybody the kiss of death, and not to disparage any of our other freshman but Aitana has clearly risen up to be the best of our freshman class if you base it on the fall right now,” said Varner. “I am also really pleased with her character and work ethics up to this point, at everything we do as a team she has been exemplary, and she always seems fired up and happy to be there, she loves the game and she loves her team.


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