Matador of the Week: Gracie Piar

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Gracie Piar

Freshman Gracie Piar earned the lowest score for the Matadors in the Hobble Creek Fall Classic and the 2022 Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic, the first two tournaments of her career. She has finished top 40 in all three tournaments so far.

Benjamin Miller, Reporter

In this edition of Matador of the Week, freshman Gracie Piar of the women’s golf team draws the spotlight after being the only Matador to place top 40 in all three tournaments thus far in the season.

Piar had the lowest score for the Matadors in the Hobble Creek Fall Classic and the 2022 Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic to open up the season, and ranked top 40 in the Big O Classic despite the team’s struggles on the course that day.

Her career-best outing as a Matador came in round three of the Hobble Creek Classic, where she earned a score of 69 through the 18 holes. This makes her the Matadors’ season leader for low 18-hole score. Piar also tops the leaderboards for low 36- and 54-hole totals.

“I was expecting that from myself. I’ve been grinding all summer and was ready to roll at the start of the season,” Piar said. “It wasn’t a big surprise.”

Piar was also a highly-decorated high school golfer. After training for more than a decade, dominating school leaderboards is nothing new to her. She attended Marquette Catholic High School in Alton, Illinois, where she grew up and made a name for herself as a young golf star. Piar was the regional champion, County Player of the Year and All-State Player of the Year each season of her high school career. She also won the Illinois High School Association State Championship in her senior year, the same year she broke every school record for golf.

Although Piar excelled at golf in her home state of Illinois, she faced some obstacles that could derail her dreams of turning pro. Illinois is known for its cold weather, reaching an average temperature of 19 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months. The athletes are at the mercy of the elements, which means that for half the year, golfing is not an option because of the heavy snow and icy winds. Piar found ways to work around these harsh conditions, training during the winter, but the circumstances were never ideal.

“Golf back home is different during the winter,” the Illinois native said. “We do have indoor facilities and I can go there but it is just not the same. So during the winter I focus a lot on my long game on the simulators but the short game is hard to do inside.”

The weather was the primary reason that Piar chose CSUN as her college. She one day hopes to turn pro but golfing in Illinois would have made the task much more difficult, so she made her way to sunny California, where the only place to find snow is on mountaintops in the distance.

“Location was a big thing. I went and visited the campus and I fell in love with the campus and the team,” Piar said. “I am just excited that I can golf year-round now.”

Piar has her sights set on going pro, but has some unfinished business on the course before that happens. As a freshman, her scoring average sits at 78, but she hopes to lower that number to 72 in a couple of months. Another goal on the young golfer’s mind is to win the Big West Conference next semester, a feat a Matador has not achieved since Beth Allen won in 2004.

“Looking ahead into the future, I’m just preparing myself to turn pro because that is my ultimate goal, so just fixing a few things and getting more consistent with my game,” Piar said. “I would really like the team to win a few tournaments too. That would be great.”

The Matadors travel to Hawaii for the Rainbow Wahine Invitational on Oct. 24-26 for their last tournament of the fall season.

“I just want to do well in Hawaii just to top it off for fall season,” Piar said.

Piar is currently nursing a concussion that occurred the day after the Big O Classic. She has not golfed in a week per protocol but says she will be ready to go by Monday.

“It’s a funny story actually. We got back from Colorado and I was taking a shower the next morning and I slipped on soap and fell. What a way to get a concussion,” Piar said. “It’s just tougher to focus. I am starting to improve though and have some time to prepare for Hawaii.”