Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Fast start for Farah O’Keefe, reigning Big 12 Women’s Golfer of the Month

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Most freshmen have to bide their time and pay their dues before gaining recognition on the biggest stage. Farah O’Keefe is anything but “most freshmen.”

An Austin product who played for Anderson High School, a mere 15 minutes away from the Texas campus, O’Keefe has taken the golf world by storm. She was recently named the Big 12 Women’s Golfer of the month for September which commended her finishes as the runner-up in the Windy City Classic and fifth in the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, her very first events as a Longhorn.

O’Keefe, who enrolled back in January, cites that semester of offseason as a crucial factor to her success.

“I think that semester was hugely beneficial to my golf game,” O’Keefe said. “I learned a lot about the game that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have. It was really little stuff. We worked on really specific aspects of my game that I needed to get better at.”

Being on the other side of the collegiate recruiting process that was further complicated by COVID-19, O’Keefe said that it “hits home so well” to be representing Texas in burnt orange. Committing to play for a college is usually a stressful decision for a high school senior, but O’Keefe described her decision as “clear as day” that she would stay home and be a Longhorn.

“In the back of my mind, I had kind of always had the idea of staying close to home,” O’Keefe said. “UT was always a fantastic option that I had in my head and that I was like, that would be absolutely amazing. It never really surfaced as a reality until I got a call from Coach Kate (Golden) one day during my lunch.”

O’Keefe recognizes the increased pressure on her shoulders that inevitably comes with the type of rapid success that she has had. In many regards, however, this is nothing new for the golfer that qualified for and played in the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open Championship and won the 2021-2022 UIL 5A/6A Player of the Year. Her recent accomplishments are impressive additions to an already impressive résumé.

“It is a lot of noise,” she said. “It’s a lot of distractions, but you have to take your practice mentality into tournaments and just face each tournament and each new opportunity as what it is. It’s an opportunity to learn something about golf, maybe put up a good number, maybe not put up a good number, and just enjoy the day.”

O’Keefe recently tied for 22nd at the Stanford Intercollegiate this past weekend, continuing her streak of top 25 finishes in all four of the tournaments she has played this season. The team, currently ranked at number No. 5 nationally, finished eighth overall in the tournament.

O’Keefe and the rest of the team will have a few months worth of rest before traveling to Portugal in late January to compete in the Portuguese Ladies Amateur Championship.

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