Last weekend we kicked start our spring season with the Illinois Challenge held at the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla. It was our fourth consecutive win over Illinois State. Not only was I delighted for our win, I had a great experience on my first collegiate tournament as well.
I got the chance to watch my teammate Hailey Koschmann finish her last hole along side Crystal Smith in the four-ball match on a par 5. She made an incredible second shot onto the green, missed an eagle putt and settled for a birdie which gave the team 1/2 point finishing our morning session with a one point lead. We had decent individual matches in the afternoon as well and ended up defeating Illinois State University 6.5-5.5
The course was in perfect condition and although the weather was a mixture of light rain and sunshine, it was an amazing weekend for all of us. Preparing for and playing four-ball matches in the morning was a perfect bonding time for all of us. The seniors helped out the underclassmen with the experiences they have gained over the years. As Nora Lucas said after her win in the morning with Michelle Mayer, "Michelle can play on the tour right now if I caddy for her," and I truly believe so.
Apart from the tournament itself, it was a pleasure to be able to meet the Illinois State team. Their friendliness made the tournament enjoyable. Moreover, we were hosted by two lovely families and stayed in two very luxurious houses. The underclassmen stayed at Mrs. Watson's and we all agreed she was one of the sweetest ladies we've ever met. Saturday night, after a long day at the tournament, five of us came home and she made us two bowls of popcorn while we relaxed and watched a movie together. She really did make us feel at home. Meanwhile, the seniors stayed at the Lucas' house. The Lucas family provided us with warm hospitality; Mr. and Mrs. Lucas hosted dinner on Friday night with the Illinois State team as well as dinner on Saturday night with our parents. And yes, we were all very well fed after both nights!
It was a great start for our victorious spring season and, needless to say, I could not have asked for a better first tournament as part of the Illinois women's golf team. We are definitely looking forward to building on our success after an impressive fall season. With this being the last semester for our five seniors, they are certainly giving it their all. I truly believe in every single one of my teammates and I am confident that with our eagerness to work hard, we will end our season as victoriously as we started.
Thank you for your support :)
- Pim Thirati