Athlete of the Week: Kendra Little

Geoff Thurner

Junior Kendra Little is the Athlete of the Week for her dominating play early in the women’s golf season. She has been the Ducks’ top finisher in each of their first three tournaments and placed first overall in two of them. In the team’s first tournament in New Mexico, Little shot a 68 in each of the final two rounds, twice tying for the second-best single round score in school history. For the tournament she shot a total of 207, which was 12 under par and set a new record for the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational. Little again finished in first overall at the Giustina Memorial Classic in Corvallis and played a key role in a 25-stroke team victory for the Ducks.

Oregon Daily Emerald: You played basketball in high school, do you still play around here at all?

Kendra Little: I don’t. I’m a junior and when I was a freshman, it was the first year that I hadn’t played basketball part of the year. So I’d go to the Rec Center and just kind of goof around and play and shoot a little bit. But since then, I really haven’t. I still love basketball, but I just never play anymore. I like to watch it, but I don’t really get to play anymore.

ODE: In terms of mindset, are there any connections between how you approached basketball and how you approach golf?

KL: They’re really different sports. In basketball, if I was getting frustrated, I’d just really focus on playing good defense and just letting all my frustration out on defense. With golf, you can’t really let yourself get mad or really show any emotion, you’ve got to keep it inside. It’s basically opposite.

ODE: What are you majoring in?

KL: Political science right now; I’m thinking of switching to sociology. I just declared a month ago, so I’m still kind of deciding.

ODE: Do you know what you want to do after college?

KL: I’m going to turn pro after college, just give it a go. I might as well, we’ll see where it takes me.

ODE: What’s your favorite part about going to the University?

KL: I just love the atmosphere. I grew up in Portland for the first eight years of my life and then I moved to Eugene when I was nine, so I’ve been a Duck fan my whole life. I just really love the athletic department, the people are really great. I love the town, I think it’s really a good college community. It was just the right fit for me.

ODE: Was this where you wanted to go in high school?

KL: Not really. Honestly I really wanted to go to the University of California, Berkeley. Freshman year and sophomore year of high school I was like, “Yeah, that would be a good place to go.” It turns out that Ohio State recruited me, and then Cal didn’t recruit me, but Oregon did. So I was like, “You know what, everything happens for a reason.” Ohio State was just too far away, and Oregon was just a really good fit for me.

ODE: You’re a junior now, what do you think you’ve improved on most between your freshman year and now?

KL: I’d say my short game. My putting right now has never been any better in my entire life. I think I’m a little bit more mature, just taking things step-by-step. I’m not getting too frustrated when I play bad and not getting too excited when I play well, just staying even. I think that’s something I’ve definitely improved on.

ODE: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of golf?

KL: I really like movies. I like to go to the movie theatres, even though it’s like $6.50 per ticket. I really, really enjoy going to movies.

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