Freshman Sensation

DENNIS HUBBARD | PHOTO COURTESY Freshman Natalie Roth is already the Bison’s No. 1 golfer.
DENNIS HUBBARD | PHOTO COURTESY
Freshman Natalie Roth is already the Bison’s No. 1 golfer.

The North Dakota State women’s golf coach said a freshman golfer has the potential to become as good as the best women’s golfer in Bison history.

Amy Anderson as an NDSU junior won the Summit League Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She also tied her own record with five tournament victories for the third straight year. She broke records like it was a walk in the park and after graduation, she took off for the LPGA Tour.

Sixth-year Bison women’s golf coach Matt Johnson said freshman Natalie Roth has the mental game potential to become as good as Anderson.

“I see a lot of similarities in their mental approach to the game,”Johnson said. “(Roth) just stays calm and focused and engaged in what she’s trying to do.”

Roth, who attended Detroit Lakes High School, said that was the best compliment she has every received from her coach.

“That is about the biggest compliment that I can receive from coach,” Roth said. “He’s a great coach, and he knows how to make me want to improve myself. I think by him telling me that, it’s just motivation to accomplish what (Anderson) has accomplished for NDSU golf.”

Roth, the No. 1 golfer on the team, owns two of the top five individual low rounds this season. This includes a four-under-par 68 earlier this April at the Kansas City Shootout.

The Bison have played 10 events this season and Roth has eight top 10 finishes. With the lowest average on the squad, 76.57, Roth has made the transition from high school to college smoothly.

“For a freshman, (Roth) has been, I think, a little bit beyond expectations, and expectations are pretty high,” Johnson said. “But it’s tough as a freshman to come in and make all those adjustment and make the step up and become a leader like she has.”

Being the top player on a Division I team is tough, but being a leader as a freshman is almost unheard of. Nonetheless, Roth said she is happy with her golf game this season.

“I feel like I’ve really transitioned from a high school player into a college player,” Roth said. “It’s a lot more intense, but I think if you get your mental part down it’s a lot easier.”

Golf is a game where bad shots can ruin a round if you let them get to you, but Roth’s consistency has helped strengthen her mental game.

“Right now I think it’s pretty strong because I’ve consistently been in the mid 70s, but to get that lower is maybe work on my short game and just go out and have fun,” the biology major said. “I don’t get bothered by bad shots too often. You just have to let it go; I don’t get phased by it.”

Her teammates have the utmost confidence and respect for her.

“She’s doing awesome,” senior teammate Sarah Storandt said. “It’s really nice to have some depth on our team especially with freshmen coming in.”

Roth said her teammates are her best friends, and she spends a lot of time with them.

But when she laces up her golf shoes, puts on her white golf glove and places the golf ball on the tee, she’s all work.

“I’m all business during golf,” Roth said.

And her coach stands by his compliment about Roth’s potential to be the golfer Anderson was in college.

“I think she could be that good,” Johnson said.

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