If there is one sport you can safely play during a pandemic, it's golf, and Victoria Gailey is thankful for that. The Wolf Pack's sophomore golfer has been able to stay active this summer despite the pandemic as her native Oregon never shut down golf courses. In recent months, Gailey won the 23rd Oregon Public Links Championship, finished second in the Oregon Women’s Stroke Play Championship, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Oregon Amateur Championship and competed in the 54th California Women's Amateur Championship. Despite a busy schedule, Gailey has volunteered at the Oregon Food Bank, so she's been busy after her second season at Nevada was cut short due to COVID-19. As a freshman, Gailey set Nevada's single-season program record in scoring average (73.47) before posting a 74.47 last year.
Because of Gailey's recent play while being named a Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar, she was named Nevada Sports Net's Wolf Pack Athlete of the Month for July, an honor presented in partnership with Champion Chevrolet. You can watch our full interview with Gailey below or check out the Q&A underneath that.
Q&A with Victoria Gailey
On what she's been doing since the pandemic struck in March
VG: "The first thing was I had to finish the school year strong transitioning to online. At first it was hard, but then I got the hang of it and was able to finish well in school. I'm fortunate enough golf is an outdoor sport, and Oregon hasn't been affected by closing any golf courses, so I've been really fortunate to be able to practice and train and really put in a lot of time because that's what we have right now is time. I've really seen my game grow and learned a lot about myself this summer. It's almost been a blessing in disguise because I've had a lot of time to work on myself and my game, and I've seen some results, so it's fun."
On winning the Oregon Public Links Championship
VG: "It was a battle. I won by one shot. I shot my best ever 66 in competition. It was just a really fun day. It was just really cool to win again. It's been a little bit since moving out of junior college. In college golf and amateur golf, the competition really steps up and it's a lot harder to get wins. It was really nice to get that feeling of coming down to the 18th hole and my heart beating and everything. That was the most special (tournament) this summer."
On making the Mountain West all-academic team with a 3.95 GPA
VG: "I'm on a pre-med track right now and have a passion for school and learning and science as well as golf. My first goal is to play professionally and definitely try that for a couple of years. I might as well, I love it and can't imagine my life without golf. That's my first goal, and down the road if I end up wanting to take more traditional work, I'm not sure exactly what I want to do right now, but I think something in health care, if that's ending up going to medical school or finishing a Master's in public health and doing something with that. Something in science or health care, but hopefully I can make it as a professional golfer. That's the first goal."
On donating her time at the Oregon Food Bank this summer
VG: "That has been a really great experience volunteering. Like I said, I have nothing but time right now and I can't golf all the time, so it's been a great way to get involved in my community. I volunteered for the Oregon Food Bank in high school a couple of times and over winter break, too, and I've loved feeling really happy in helping these people. Food and hunger is such a big thing, and without volunteers the Oregon Food Bank wouldn't be able to reach out to so many communities, so it's been something that's really fun and an active way for me to get involved in the community and keep me busy, so I've really liked it."
On getting to spend more time at home in Oregon
VG: "It's been really nice. My mom has said, 'I don't want you to go back! It's going to be such a big shock.' Normally, I'm only home for three months a year since I've gone away to college, so she's been really attached. But it's been really fun. I love Oregon. The climate is a lot different than Reno. It's kind of wetter and it's greener, but I think having two different places that are so different, it makes me appreciate both of them. It's been really fun being home. No family fights yet. We'll see the last couple of weeks of this before I go back to Reno."
On looking forward to returning to college at Nevada
VG: "I'm really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and college life. It's definitely going to be different because we need to all be safe, but I'm just excited to get back into the college town feel and get back to playing the courses I love up there. I'm really excited to get back."
On her favorite course to play in Oregon and Nevada
VG: "I love Langdon Farms. It's a great public course and is always in great conditions. They're always super welcoming. It seems like it should be a private course with how good the conditions are. They have this really cute sign when you drive in that says, 'Public only.' I love how welcoming it is, and it's always in such great condition. (In Reno,) I love Hidden Valley. It's been great to practice out there this last year, and they've been super great with us. I really like it out there."