When senior golfer Emily Penttila made her first visit to New Orleans in November 2011, she wasn’t yet sure how she was going to spend the next four years of her life. To pursue her dream of playing professional golf, Penttila, a native of Helsinki, Finland, would have to make a move across the globe, and Tulane was her first stop.
“Tulane was the first of the schools that I visited, and I loved it,” Penttila explains. “I really liked the coaches, and I loved the campus and the city around it. I just had a good feeling.”
Fast forward four years and Penttila is the star of the Tulane golf squad, wrapping up her collegiate career in style as the team prepares for NCAA Regional competition in Texas May 5–7. Penttila sports the top career scoring average in school history (73.71) and sits prominently in the record book.
“I’m most proud of how I’ve evolved as a player and as a person here.”
Senior golfer Emily Penttila
“I’m most proud of how I’ve evolved as a player and as a person here,” Penttila said. “I came to Tulane to get better and get ready to play professionally, and I think that each and every year I’ve gotten a little bit closer to my goal.”
With just two weeks left until graduation on May 14, the business management major is looking forward to the next step in her golfing career. She plans to stay amateur through September, when she will begin the three-stage qualifying school for the LPGA in hopes of turning professional next year.
“I’m sad to leave New Orleans,” she said. “The friends you make here and the people you get to be around every day, you have these small moments, and all the small moments make the whole experience special.”
Penttila has fond memories of her time at Tulane and will be remembered as one of the most decorated golf athletes in Tulane history.
The 2016 Commencement ceremony will be streamed live online. Follow us on social media at #tulane16.
Kaitlin Maheu, a senior studying French and linguistics at Tulane University, also works for Tulane Athletic Communications.