May 02, 2013

My Championship Experience - Women's Golf Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships.

Western Illinois sophomore Ashley Jeffers writes about her experience at the 2013 Summit League Women's Golf Tournament:

Saturday, April 20, 2013
            It was a day of travel for the Leatherneck women’s golf team.  We were leaving our
home golf course at 8:30 a.m. in order to start our trip.  By 8:45 a.m., all eight of us—six players, Coach Luke (Lukkarinen) and our GA coach Lindsay (Wandrey)—had packed up the van and were on the road.  Whenever we fly, we try to fly Southwest because bags fly free, so we had to drive three and a half hours to St. Louis, Mo., in order to catch our flight.  The lines at the airport weren’t too bad and we didn’t have to wait too long to board the plane.  The flight was supposed to be an hour and forty-five minutes, but we got in early.  We quickly grabbed our bags and got in the van and booked it to the course in order to get some chipping and putting practice in.  Once we got to the course, a little after five that evening, we were only able to practice for a little over an hour and ended up meeting our guys’ team there and left together to get dinner at Mellow Mushroom, which is a pizza place.  After dinner, we set off to find the hotel.  Finally, at nine o’clock we got to the hotel and split up for the night.  It was a long day, but the coming days are going to be so much longer.

Sunday, April 21, 2013
            I woke up this morning at 8:30 a.m. and went down to get some breakfast with my teammate Kelsea Visalli.  We didn’t have to leave the hotel until 11:45 a.m. because we weren’t playing until our 1 p.m. shotgun start, but breakfast closed at 9 a.m.  Since I woke up so early I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I stayed up and worked on a paper that I have to email to my professor Monday night.  We got to the course around 12:15 p.m. and warmed up for our practice round and started on the ninth hole at 1 p.m.  After we played all 18 holes, it was 6 p.m. and we rushed back to the hotel to change for The Summit League banquet.  The banquet was being held at the golf course at 7:30 p.m. that evening.  After dinner, they announced the awards for First and Second Team All-Summit League, and then we finally left the course.  By the time we got back to the hotel, it was 9 p.m. but coach was at her coaches meeting.  We finally had our team meeting at 10 p.m. and then my teammates and I had a short meeting without coach just to talk about the coming days. Shortly after that I finally had time to relax and catch up on my schoolwork.

Monday, April 22, 2013
            Today was the first day of competition.  Kelsea was the first to tee-off for our team. After getting to sleep in a little, we went down to get breakfast before it closed.  After breakfast, we got ready and took off for the course.  We got there around 10 a.m. and Kelsea (Visalli), Alexa (Arent) and I started warming up because we were the first three from our team to play.  The course wasn’t playing too long, but it was tight and just got windier as the day went on.  As a team, we didn’t play at all like we had hoped to.  It didn’t help that our 18 holes had become a six-hour round.  After we played, I went to the range for a little bit to work on my swing because I was not happy with how I played.  I was happy my mom was
there to watch me because her and I left together to get dinner.  We got back to the hotel at 7:30 p.m. and I continued working on a paper that I had to email to my teacher tonight.  At 9 p.m. we had a team meeting, and afterwards we all went our own ways.  Tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
            Today, the women were to tee-off first with the men to follow.  Alexa was the first to tee off at 8:45 a.m.  Since we wanted to get to the course at 7:45 a.m., I got up at 7 a.m. in order to get everything together.  When we got to the course, it was freezing and drizzling.  Every competitor was in rain gear and had their umbrellas up.  It was quite a shock to have it be raining and in the 40’s while in Texas in the middle of April.  As we were warming up, the rain started to hit harder and the wind picked up.  The rain didn’t stop till about my fourth hole, but it stayed cold and windy all day.  Today’s round took at little over five hours, which was much better than our six-hour round on Monday.  As a team, our scores were better overall but we still weren’t happy.  We were in sixth place; only three shots behind Oakland.  Since we played in the morning, we had some free time in the afternoon.  Half the team had family in town so those with family went with them and the other half went shopping and then out to dinner.  We all got together again at 9 p.m. to have another team meeting.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
            Today was the last day of the league tournament.  Once again, the women were behind the men, so Alexa didn’t tee off till 11 a.m. and the rest of us followed behind her.  It was a little cold in morning, but most of us were in our skirts and shirts by the turn.  It was still a pretty windy day, but I think we can all agree as players that we would rather have wind then rain and wind.  The final round was once again a long round: six hours.  I couldn’t help but think about how long of a day it would have been if we had to play 36 holes like last year.  It would have easily been a 12-hour day.  My entire team ended up getting done by 5:30 p.m. and after a quick dinner at the course and changing, it was time to pack our clubs in the travel bags and then repack the van.  We were on the road by 6:30 p.m. and our flight out of Dallas was at 8:40 p.m.  While on the road we found out that the team overcame Oakland and placed fifth.  We also found out that Emily got fifth place individually.  Coach was planning to drop us off at the airport with our stuff so that we could check it and then she could turn the van back in.  While driving into the airport, we looked to our right and saw Air Force One sitting on the tarmac.  Come to find out, President Obama had just flown into the airport for the George W. Bush Presidential Library opening in Dallas.  After we checked our bags, we went through security and we got through security faster in Dallas than anywhere else.  Luckily for us, our plane was on time.  We ended up getting into St. Louis at 10:30 p.m.  We now had the three-hour drive back to Macomb.  By the time we got back to town and unloaded the van and got back to my dorm, it was 2 a.m.  Needless to say, I was pretty tired for my Thursday class.  Even though the tournament didn’t go as planned, it was still a good trip.

Don’t forget to check out the next editions of My Championship Experience as it follows the Softball and Men’s and Women's Track & Field Championships, May 9-11, and throughout the 2012-13 season for coverage at each of The Summit League Championships.

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