April 25, 2008
Senior women's golfer Leanne Bowditch (Queensland, Australia) will soon be wrapping up her career, as the West Coast Conference Championships are next week and the NCAA events will follow a few weeks later. She is hoping to become a four-time All-WCC first team selection and will likely end her career in Pepperdine's all-time top 10 in career stroke average and rounds played. Leanne, who is a member of Pepperdine's Student Athletic Advisory Committee, will walk through Pepperdine's graduation ceremony in a couple of weeks and will finish her coursework this summer. She took a few minutes to talk to pepperdinesports.com about her career.
Q: What is it like knowing that you're coming to the end of your Pepperdine career, both in golf and in the classroom?
A: "It's kind of twofold. It's kind of exciting because there will be no more studying. But at the same time, I have no idea of what I'm doing, where I'm going to live, so it's kind of scary. To leave the team and the coaches is going to be hard."
Q: How would you describe your four years here?
A: "Great. I loved it. Coming from Australia you can't study and play golf at the same time so to be able to come over here and do that has been amazing. The people I've met have been great. It's been a lot of fun."
Q: What has being part of this team been like?
A: "We have a great group of girls and it's a lot of fun. I'm going to miss it, that's for sure."
Q: As one of the team's co-captains, how have you tried to be a leader on the team?
A: "Stephanie (Gelleni) and I have really taken the role to heart and we try to bring the team together a lot. When I was a freshman we had two really strong co-captains and I've tried to fill that role. It's been good trying to bring the team together and helping the coaches out when we can. I've really enjoyed being co-captain."
Q: With just the WCC tournament next week and the NCAA events to follow, how would you like to finish your career?
A: "Ideally, three wins would be great: go out and win conference, win regionals and win nationals. For us, conference is important. Regionals is a stepping stone for nationals, and nationals is what we're working toward. To win that and have a team victory would be wonderful ... Individually, I'd like to win conference and be the team's top finisher at regional and nationals, and then go on and start a good career in golf."
Q: What has been your most memorable moment being part of the Pepperdine women's golf team?
A: "It would probably have to be at nationals in Ohio in 2006. Coach (Laurie) Gibbs can get emotional but she doesn't usually fire us up or pump us up. We're in the hotel room on the final day of the national championship and she got us all pumped up, and the whole team came together, and we went out and played great. It's something that I'll never forget because it's so special. It was really cool."
Q: What's been the best thing about being a student-athlete at Pepperdine?
A: "Just the opportunity, coming from a country you have to choose between one and the other, and you can't do two things. To be able to wake up in the morning and know what's happening for the entire day ahead, knowing you're going to class and practice and having everything planned out. The opportunities and the whole system at Pepperdine is fantastic."
Q: How did you end up at Pepperdine?
A: "It's kind of funny. How I started was I got a map of America and I crossed off all of the states where it was cold. Coming from Australia where it's warm, I couldn't deal with snow or anything like that. (Former Pepperdine All-American) Katherine Hull, who graduated a few years ago, we went to the same high school and played at the same golf clubs, and she spoke a lot about Pepperdine and spoke really highly of it. I came over and played in the junior world championships and I met Coach Gibbs and came to visit and I loved it. This is where I wanted to go."
Q: It sounds like you're a little uncertain what you will do next, but what do you hope to do?
A: "I know I want to play golf. Qualifying school doesn't start until November. So between July, when I finish summer school, and November, I'm kind of a lost cause right now. I don't know what's going to happen but I'll figure it out. Whether it's here or in Australia, hopefully something will come up ... The Australian LGPA only goes November through February and when I go home I'll play that for sure. That one's kind of set, but in between and after that, we'll have to wait and see."
Q: It must help that many Pepperdine golfers have played in the pros and have gone through this process, and you can find out what they did.
A: "Katherine has been a great resource for me. She's always willing to answer questions and pick up the phone and talk to me. My older brother (Steven) plays on the Nationwide Tour so I've learned a lot from him and he can help me out with some of the little things that you don't really know until you get out there. That makes a difference."
Q: Your degree will be in integrated marketing. What drew you to that and what might you do with it?
A: "I was really interested in business. But I wanted to graduate in 3 1/2 years, which I've done, and to get a business degree with golf in 3 1/2 years was going to be tough. When I spoke to Don Shores, at the time the integrated marketing major had just started. It had a little bit of business, a little bit of marketing and a little bit of communications, which I loved. It was kind of a good mix ... My plan is that I want to play for a few years, and after that I really want to go back and start a new business at home. Definitely, my major will come in handy no matter what I do."
Q: What do you like to do outside of golf?
A: "If I'm at home I like to go to the beach. Not here, it's too cold. Just hanging out with friends, I love shopping, going to movies."
Q: What do you miss the most from home?
A: "I probably miss the food the most. It's not that much different but there are a few dishes that I crave that you just can't find anywhere here. I miss sausage rolls, meat pies and lamingtons (sponge cake with chocolate and coconut). I miss the accents a lot too."