May 10, 2011
We've just got back to our rooms, in time to catch the fourth quarter of the Celtics game, following the NCAA Banquet. Reflecting back on the day, we maintained pretty much the same routine as yesterday. We met for breakfast at 7am, heading over to Grandover to warm up at 8am and began our practice round on the West course at 9am. The West course plays about 300 yards less than the East course at 6800 yds, but what it lacks in distance it makes up for in accuracy. Decision making will be key on this course, with tight fairways, numerous hazards and many lay ups. As we did yesterday, we made notes of every hole and virtually every shot. A picture perfect day of blue skies and warm temps made for great playing conditions but it wasn't long before the heat caught up with the team. Despite averaging a bottle of water about every two holes, the team wilted for about a three hole stretch where errant shots were more the norm than accurate ones.
Still,the team managed to finish with respectable scores. Matt Connolly led the way with a 75 while Brandon carded a 79, Nick and Scott both came in with 80 and George tallied an 82. Post round practice took place on the range as well as the chipping and putting greens. Coach Craig and I took part in a mandatory coaches meeting where rules and pairings were discussed. When we returned to the hotel, we had a team meeting/pep talk to discuss the practice and the tournament moving forward. Key points were that we couldn't have lapses like we did today. There are no excuses. We need to stay in the moment and play the course shot by shot. The team belongs here, they have earned the spot. We are representing the University and the GNAC conference. Enjoy the experience and appreciate the memories that will come from it.
We met at 6pm to head down for team photos then proceeded to the banquet, where a nice buffet was served and Jim Hyler, president of the USGA was the key speaker. Each team was recognized for their achievement - reaching the NCAA DIII tournament. As we head back to our rooms, hoping for a Celtics win, reality sets in - practice is over and tomorrow we compete for a national championship.