BREA, CALIF. - With the holiday approaching, there is an unmistakably “summer-like” feel in the air. Seton Hall student-athletes both near and far are carrying out their summer plans, enjoying some time in the sun before returning for another exciting year of Pirates action.
Pirate Postcards delivers a look at how the dedicated individuals who represent Seton Hall on the field of play are spending their time during the offseason.
The latest Pirate Postcard came across the continental United States, courtesy of standout women’s golfer, Hannah Basalone (Brea, Calif.).
Basalone, similar to the women’s golf program as a whole, will be entering her third year at The Hall in the fall. Throughout her first two years, Basalone has emerged as a leader for a program that has built an impressive resume in a short period of time.
As a freshman, the California native stepped in and competed in every tournament for SHU, carding four top-20 individual finishes and placing 26th at the Pirates’ first appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament.
In 2011-12, Basalone’s efforts were at the forefront of a landmark year for the burgeoning program. She led a vastly improved squad with four top-10 and three top-five finishes, including capturing SHU’s first-ever individual tournament title. Basalone inscribed her name in Seton Hall history by firing a 3-over-par (73-74-147) to finish atop the field at the Lehigh Invitational in the fall.
By the end of the year, Basalone had improved her overall stroke average by nearly two strokes over the previous season while leading the Pirates to continued success. She tied for third at the Siena Invitational to contribute to Seton Hall earning its first ever team title, then closed the year as the Pirates top finisher at the BIG EAST Championship, placing 11th.
For her efforts, Basalone became the first women’s golfer to be named to the All-BIG EAST Team and was named Seton Hall’s Sophomore Female Athlete of the Year.
The rising junior has continued her stellar play into the summer months, as she is fresh off an extremely successful run at the Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship (WAPL). Basalone, who was joined at the tournament by fellow All-BIG EAST golfer and Pirate Gary Dunne, who served as her caddy, emerged from an original field of 156 of the country’s best amateurs to advance into the round of 32.
She recently checked in with SHUPirates.com to reflect on the past year, discuss her experience navigating the talented field at the WAPL and her plans for the rest of her summer.
Hey Pirate Fans!
Summer is here and you know what that means…golf weather!!!
I am looking forward to getting out on the course and continuing to improve. As a team, we were able to do some really great things this season and I look forward to working with my teammates to take the program even further next season.
In 2012, I was so proud to be a part of some of the things we accomplished. As this was only the second year of our program, I don’t think anyone was expecting the success that we had. We had our first wins, team and individual, we lowered our scoring average from last year by several shots, and we placed fourth at BIG EAST, which was so exciting. I know I’ve greatly improved throughout the year, and I’ve gotten to see my teammates improve as well. We all work tremendously hard to do so, and it makes me proud to see that dedication translate into success.
I recently completed a run at the Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship (WAPL) and, I have to say, my experience at the WAPL was awesome. It was a very well run tournament and really fun to be a part of. The course was in great shape, as expected from a USGA-run event. There was a dinner on Saturday night for all the participants that former number-one ranked player Annika Sorenstam spoke at. It was incredible to hear about her experiences what advice she had for us.
I had played in qualifiers for this tournament for the past but have never qualified for the championship. I was visiting my aunt and uncle in Oregon and decided to play in the qualifier while I was up there. My uncle caddied for me and it was so much fun. I played a practice round the day before the qualifier and really loved the course. I was so happy to play as well as I did. It was an added bonus that I ended up winning the qualifier, something I didn’t at all expect. It was really great to share be able to share it with my family up there too.
This is one of the biggest tournaments I’ve ever played in, and one of the biggest amateur tournaments. I was really nervous going into the first day but also just excited to have the opportunity to play. After not playing too well that first day, I was mainly hoping to improve the second day. I didn’t at all expect to make the cut and continue on to match play, but I played some of my best golf on that second day. I was very relaxed and not expecting much, which I think really helped my play. I had that same attitude continuing onto Wednesday because I didn’t even think I’d be playing that day. There’s a lot more strategy involved in match play because, although you’re still trying to play your best golf on the course, you’re also trying to beat a single opponent on each hole. While golf is a very mental game, it seems to become even more so in match play when there’s a direct opponent to worry about.
I don’t think I could have picked a better caddy than Gary. He caddies at Maplewood Country Club so I knew he’d know what he was doing. I also know he’s a great player and would be able to help me out on decision-making and reading greens. The first day we were both kind of getting a feel of how the other worked and he was getting to know my game, but the second day we both just worked really well together. During match play, Gary and I paid closer attention to risk-reward shots and determined what was best for each hole as compared to what my opponent was doing. He helped with a lot of technical advice, like picking the right club or target, but he was also great as moral support. He was great at keeping my mind off things in between shots, talking about anything and everything besides golf. I’m convinced I wouldn’t have done as well as I did without him.
Now, I have returned home to California, and I’m just kind of soaking it in. I love that I get to spend time on both the west coast and east coast at different times of the year. Before coming to Seton Hall, I’d never lived anywhere but the west coast and only visited places back east a few times. I’d never even seen snow fall. The differences between the two places came as a bit of a shock, but I’ve loved every minute. I knew I’d encounter this when I decided to go there for school, which is exactly what I wanted. Being so close to New York City, one of my most favorite places in the world, is probably what I like most about going to school out there.
I also love the different seasons, especially fall. In California, there isn’t much difference between fall, winter, and spring. California weather is something I miss too, though. It’s pretty much just like what everyone thinks of when they think of California: perfect, sunny weather. I love going to the beach and walking around the little downtown areas of the beach towns. I also love spending days in L.A. Like New York City, there’s so much culture and so many different things to do.
On the course this summer, I have one more qualifier on July 9th for the U.S Women’s Amateur. I’m also going to work on a few parts of my game that could definitely use some attention. Besides that, I’m going to try to relax a little and enjoy my time at home before getting back to work for the Blue and White!
Enjoy your summer, Pirate fans!
With Basalone returning among a group of talented and dedicated individuals, the future for for Seton Hall women's golf certainly appears to be as bright as a classic California summer day.
Stay tuned to SHUPirates.com for another Pirate Postcard!
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