Arizona Wildcats

Jun 28, 2014 1:23 AM by Richie Melby (rmelby@kvoa.com)

Former Wildcat Erik Oja leading European team at Palmer Cup

WALTON-ON-THE-HILL, ENGLAND - The University of Arizona has produced several standout golfers over the years. Erik Oja is just the latest in a long line of stars.

"His stroke average is going to be Top 10 in school history for a single season. Losing a Palmer Cup guy is going to be tough," said Wildcat men's golf coach Jim Anderson.

Anderson isn't excited about losing a talent like Erik Oja to graduation, but he is happy for his future. Oja is competing in the prestigious Palmer Cup, between the top American and European college golfers.

"That was great news," Oja told News 4 earlier this summer. "It's going to be a lot of fun playing with the best amateur golfers in the world."

Is he nervous? Excited? A little bit of both?

"Both, absolutely. But that's the fun part about it," he added.

Oja is headed back to Sweden to compete in the Nordic Golf League as an amateur, hopefully that will have him prepared to play competitive golf.Oja will compete in the Nordic Golf League as an amateur this summer, heading back to his native Sweden. But he admits leaving Tucson is difficult.

"I'm not excited to leave this weather, this is as good as it gets," he said. "I am excited to go home, see my family and my girlfriend. That will be nice."

Meanwhile, Anderson says it will be nice to follow Oja's career, which has the potential to lead to great things.

"I'm not going to be one bit surprised when he calls and tells me he got his European Tour card, or when he calls and says he got invited to the Master's," Anderson said. "I might be getting ahead of myself but he definitely has the plan in place.

"If he continues with the work he's put in, I'm not going to be surprised a single bit to see his success in the future."

Oja and the European team are tied with the United States at 10 apiece heading into Saturday's final round. In the first three rounds, Oja won, lost and halved his portion of play.

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