Award recognizes student-athlete or coach that exemplifies positive attitude and mental toughness
LUBBOCK, Texas – Sofia Garcia added another impressive accolade to her career resume Wednesday as she was tabbed the winner of the Kim Moore Spirit Award presented by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).
The award, now in its 16th year, recognizes a student-athlete or coach each season that exemplifies a great spirit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental toughness in facing challenges.
Garcia is the first Red Raider all-time to garner the award and the second representative from the Big 12 Conference to be recognized as the entire Iowa State program collected the honor following the 2018-19 season.
“We are tremendously proud of Sofia for not only her play over her career but the impact she’s made on our program off the course,” head coach JoJo Robertson said. “Sofia has persevered through every obstacle thrown in front of her and has come back even stronger each time. We’re proud of the legacy she’s left on our program and can’t wait to see where her professional career takes her.”
Garcia showed all the signs of a promising career as just a freshman in 2017, leading the Red Raiders with a 73.6 stroke average that marked the sixth-lowest in program history at the time and the lowest ever for a freshman. She capped the season by finishing in a tie for 32nd overall at the NCAA Championships, which ranked among the top performances by a freshman.
A few months later, however, Garcia was on crutches after suffering a knee injury that ended her 2017-18 sophomore season only one tournament into the schedule.
Garcia persevered, though, rehabbing extensively to return to the course that next fall for the best season all-time by a Red Raider. Garcia was a regular atop the leaderboard, finishing among the top-11 individuals in all but one tournament en route to a 71.1 scoring average, still the lowest in school history and the fourth-lowest in college golf that season.
Her reemergence as one of the top collegiate players was noticed nationally as she earned the first of two WGCA All-America honors that season. She’d be named a second team All-American again following her 2019-20 junior campaign as well.
Soon after, the top amateur tournaments in the world began to invite Garcia to their events as she played in two Arnold Palmer Cups during her Red Raider career as well as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur this past spring. It was only the second time Augusta National had hosted a women’s event at the course’s hallowed grounds when Garcia visited in late March.
Garcia announced just over a week ago her intention to begin her professional career, closing a storied Tech tenure where she broke numerous school records, including for career medalist honors (5) and career stroke average (72.2). Tech played in three NCAA Regionals over her career and appeared in the 2017 NCAA Championships.
The award is named in honor of Kim Moore, who persevered through many physical challenges during her collegiate career at the University of Indianapolis (1999-03). Nominations are submitted by head coaches from across the nationally, providing a detailed evaluation of the character and resume of the candidate.
Release provided by Matt Dowdy Texas Tech Athletics