BILLINGS — Any athlete dreams of being in ‘the zone.’
There’s nothing like it – when everything is clicking and it feels like you can do no wrong.
Rocky Mountain College sophomore Valentina Zuleta experienced this in the opening round of the Frontier Conference golf tournament, firing a school record 66 en route to her second consecutive conference title.
“It was crazy. The whole time I was just thinking, 'This is crazy. This doesn't feel real,'" Zuleta told MTN Sports. "I started that round saving a par. I saved a 15-footer for par, and when that went in I knew it was going to be a good day because I felt like I could make any putt."
It wasn’t just a banner weekend for Val, who helped the Rocky women to a first-place finish. The men’s team showed out, too, winning their sixth consecutive Frontier crown.
“We go into every conference event thinking that we should dominate, and we've done that for six years now," said senior Haydn Driver, the Frontier's men's champion.
Both Zuleta and Driver came to Billings from outside the country – Zuleta from Colombia and Driver from South Africa. But they’ve both played plenty in the states, including some championship courses that stand out above the rest.
“Pinehurst is definitely my favorite golf place in the world. That's where I played my first tournament in the US. I think I was seven years old and I would go almost every summer with my family and have really good memories with them," Zuleta said.
“Probably Whistling Straits," Driver said. "I played there my freshman year when I was at my first college. A few of the guys and I drove up there and it was unbelievable."
Confidence and momentum are huge in golf, and you can bet the Rocky men and women have plenty of both heading into their respective national tournaments. The men are in Mesa, Arizona at Las Sendas Golf Club May 16-19, while the women are at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois May 23-26.