Hi Golf Friends...man, it's been awhile since I've written and I can tell - I've missed the "therapy" I get when writing about my favorite thing in the world. Life's been a challenge lately, but this past weekend I was on the course and my happy place reminded me that I can't forget what keeps me grounded. So many golf thoughts came to mind that I couldn't help but feel a renewed spirit...so here I am!
I'm going to have to "scatter shoot" like Sam this week because I've got a lot of golf on the brain! Where to start?!
The qualifier was a 36-hole one day event and I got there just in time for the second round to start. There were 2 players under par after the first 18 holes and 23 women shot 80 or better. Starting the second 18 in first place was Kelly Shon who shot a -2 (70). Shon just finished her Freshmen year at Princeton and is from Port Washington, NY. In second was Amy Anderson, who will be a Junior this fall at North Dakota State University, shot a -1(71). There were 5 players within 4 shots of the leader going into the final 18 as well.
I followed Shon on and off during her round. It looked like it was her Mom caddying for her (pushing a cart) and I was impressed with how steady she was. She had a couple of missed shots and she got a little emotional, but she got over it quickly. I hung out at a few holes for awhile just to get a feel for how good these gals were. Playing what looked to be the white tees yardages, these ladies could hit the ball! I didn't see a lot of putts drop, but I'm guessing they would all be happy for 36 pars for the day!
Shon came in with an even par 72 and Anderson shot 70 to take the clubhouse lead at -3. Shon had to wait for 2 other players who had a chance to catch her, but in the end Shon got the 2nd spot. Kirby Dreher from Canada finished 3rd at +3 and Kim Kaufman got 4th with a +4 score. I heard tournament director, Doug Hoffman, explain to Dreher and Kaufman that as 1st and 2nd alternate their best chance of making the field would be if Shon or Anderson could not play, but that someone from the USGA would contact them if the opportunity comes for them to play.
Besides a few parents, family, boyfriends, and teammates, there weren't many people there to watch. I thought it was fantastic! If there is a regional or state tourney in your area, go watch and cheer these players on. I'll be rooting for Shon and Anderson...even though they aren't Minnesotans, they chose our state to qualify so that has to count for something!
Hmmm, let's see, what else? Oh, maybe that little win a few weeks ago by Steve Stricker??!! Woo HOO! I can't think of a nicer guy to win Jack's event...and to top it off an awesome T2 finish by Matt Kuchar!! It wasn't easy for me to pick, but heart belongs to Steve and I'm so happy for him. I think the win is setting him up for earning his first Major win this week at the US Open! I know I'm like a broken record when it comes to Stricker deserving a Major Championship, but I'm saying it now - this could be his week! The Stricker/Kuchar finish also really helped our Pro's Picks standings over at Kerplookee Fantasy golf. My friend Drew and I have struggled a bit with our predictions, but we're hanging in there. I guarantee you Stricker will be on all of my fantasy teams this week.
Not to be a downer after my joyous Stricker news, but it's been a frustrating spring here in Northern Minnesota. So let me just say that we'd better be getting a picture perfect July and August after putting up with wind, cold, and rain for the past 2 months!! Our course is still struggling to recover from some bad winter kill, but we're seeing progress! I just hope we can have some nice greens to putt on by July.
I've joined a new women's golf league this year, too - it's a 2 person best ball format and I'm enjoying it so far (3 weeks in!). I haven't been playing as much as I would like, but my putter and I have gotten along well and we're having fun. And I'm loving my recent Ebay Callaway 7-wood purchase (did someone say $26.50 including shipping? Oh, yes I did! You know I love a bargain!). My new 3-wood and I are still working out some kinks, so I'm hoping that will improve.
On the horizon are a few scramble/tourney events with some of my favorite golf pals and we're less than a month away from our annual golf scramble at our local club - after a 3 year drought my team is ready to defend our first place finish in 2010!
I continue to be inspired by all of the golf dreamers out there. As I was scouting the field at the US Open it was so neat to see (A)'s by a few names. I'm not sure what their journey was to get there, but I'll be keeping an eye out for their scores. Just surviving a US Open layout is success enough, so here's hoping for 4 rounds instead of just 2!
Next week is an annual match with 3 of my favorite golf friends...I'm not sure yet where we are playing, but I guess it really doesn't matter to me...just playing together, having a few laughs, making a few putts, and enjoying the trash talking is treat enough for me.
Here's hoping for a great summer of golf...for me and for you!!
Filed under: US Open, Steve Stricker, happy place, Matt Kuchar, Cathy Erickson