May 9, 2011
The team got to work early this morning as we met for breakfast at 6:45 a.m. before heading over to the Grandover Resort for a practice round. We arrived at Grandover around 8 a.m. and went straight to the practice range to warm up. We practiced on the back of the range with a beautiful view of the resort as a backdrop. Today's practice round was on the East Course with a 9 a.m. shotgun start and the team began play on the 15th hole. Passing showers and a cool start gave way to partial sun and temps in the 70s as the round progressed. The course was in great condition, as the team found good lies in not only the fairways but also the rough and the greens rolled true. The par 72 course played to 7100 yards of target golf. You had to be precise with tee shots with rolling fairways and club selection was key, not only off the tee, but also with approaches as there were a number of lay up shots. The greens were undulated and many had multiple tiers.
Coach Craig and I took notations of each hole, as did the team, and compared notes after each hole. Nick Jagoe had the shot of the day as he holed out for eagle on the 5th hole, a 555 yard par 5, with a wedge from 50 yards out. Collectively, the team played well. Nick led the charge with a 72, George and Scott carded 77s and Brandon and Matt both finished with 79s. The round was encouraging and you could see a sense of confidence from the guys, tempered by the fact that this was only practice and the pressure would be tenfold come tournament time. We took advantage of the practice facilities and continued to work for another hour after the round on the range and the putting green before retreating back to the hotel. The guys unwound by the pool for awhile in the afternoon and a couple caught a few winks before heading out for dinner at Cici's, an all you can eat pizza joint, suggested by the Husson coach. After putting on a feed bag and a good days work on the course, the guys have retired to their rooms, logging on to their laptops and watching TV. Except for Coach Craig, who at a youthful 66 years old, is heading to the fitness center for a "quick" workout - always leading by example.