MILWAUKEE -- The transition from high school to college is normally a big enough step for any student to deal with. At Marquette University, one freshman is adding on the pressures of being a student-athlete and moving to Milwaukee from another continent.
"For us to get out as much as we do and play it on a regular basis, this is pretty special," Steve Bailey, Marquette University golf coach said.
With the fall golf schedule winding down, Erin Hills Golf Course plays host to a number of the best golf players and golf teams in the college game.
"What this has provided our program -- we'll go play at Stanford this year. We'll go play at UCLA's event. So it's opened the door for us to pretty much hand pick where we'd like to go. So thanks to Erin Hills for providing that for us," Bailey said.
One of MU's players, 6'2" freshman Oliver Farrell, recently played the course for the first time.
"It's phenomenal. Obviously, being my first year and obviously playing a home event, it was really special," Farrell said.
Farrell finished 8th overall.
"There was a lot out there. A lot that I can improve -- so that's the great thing -- knowing that you haven't played your best and you still finished in eighth. You know when you know you can improve, you're only going to get better. I'm excited for the future," Farrell said.
At the time of the tournament, he had only been in the United States for less than six weeks. He moved from Worcestershire, England.
"I think it's been an easy transition for him. I think we've really set a good standard for being a strong team, not only pushing one another, but also having an environment where we're going to stick together in what we do. I think that's helped him along the way and allowed his transition to become a lot easier to the United States. It's not an easy one, but yeah, he's made it pretty smoothly," Bailey said.
"They're such a good group of guys. I've gotten along well with them. I think that's been a big part of my success since I've come here. I've settled in well with them. We're always competitive with each other -- always pushing. You always want to beat them because if you don't beat them they're going to give you some stick, so I think it's been good motivation," Farrell said.
Farrell is hoping that leads to even greater successes as he has his sights set high for his first year at MU.
"I still want to win as many collegiate events as I can, you know, try to get to the number one player in the NCAA. That's the goal. I'll keep working for it until I get there," Farrell said.
"That's why we recruited him. We saw that early on. Just his grit and passion for the game and the way he does everything in his life, his workout regimen, his diet, everything leads up to wanting to play at that level. He doesn't just talk the big game. He walks it too," Bailey said.
That determination is something that goes beyond golf, as his college experience is just beginning.
"I'm looking forward to getting a great education, meeting people I'll probably stay friends with for life and making connections as well," Farrell said.
"Everything is in preparation to play at this highest level and he wants to move on to the professional ranks too. He's going to have a pretty special career. We're fortunate to have him," Bailey said.
Farrell says he hasn't decided on a major yet, but he expects he'll do something relating to business.
Meanwhile, he says he's ready for Milwaukee's winter, and practicing inside. And he looks forward to following MU basketball.