Making Putts and Making Grades

Alexis gets ready for the Wildcat Invitational in Arizona on February 27th and 28th. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- As an athlete, graduating in four years is no easy task. A student-athlete's biggest challenge: reaching a perfect balance between school and golf. Alexis Edwards and Rachel Newren have managed to find this balance while also leading the No. 23 women's golf team.

Jim Hamblin, the golf team's academic advisor, knows what an achievement it is to graduate in four years. He says it takes determination and commitment.

"Rachel and Alexis are perfect examples of everything that is good with college athletics," said Hamblin, "They obviously compete at a very high level on a very good golf team, but they also do everything it takes to succeed academically."

So far, Newren has been right on track. She will be graduating this April, with a record-breaking college golf career at BYU and a Sociology degree. Although school work sometimes has to be on the back burner when she's thinking about golf, Newren feels coming to BYU has helped her grow.

"You learn more about life than you do academics I think," said Newren, "I enjoyed the challenge, and I'm glad I could develop my talents as a golfer and as a person."

Newren came to BYU with one thought in her head-- to complete school quickly so she could move on to the LPGA Tour.

"I picked the shortest major they offered and signed up," said Newren, "Don't get me wrong, I love my major. It's really interesting and if I have to apply it someday in life, I'll be happy with my work."

Similarly, with a major in Communications Studies, Edwards' time in college has been a great preparation for what lies ahead. She plans to go on to graduate school for either marketing or communications. This isn't the end of her golf career either. On a slightly different path than Newren, Edwards wants to coach college golf while finishing her education.

For Edwards, balancing golf and school was challenging, especially when it came to finding motivation to excel on the course and in the classroom. It takes a lot of hard work, but Edwards found this balance and is now a leader to both her teammates and her classmates.

"Sometimes after tournaments you are too tired to even think about school, but you just have to grind it out."

And ground it out she has. She kept a 3.7 GPA her freshman year to earn Academic All-American honors and since then has maintained a 3.2 GPA.

Both Edwards and Newren have been key contributors on the women's golf team. With only their spring season left, Edwards and Newren plan to lead their team to the national championships... after they pass their finals that is.

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