Chip Shots with Pimploy Thirati: Ram Classic

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Hi Illini Fans, 

This past weekend we were in Fort Collins, Colo., for our season-opening Colonel Wollenberg's Ram Classic hosted by Colorado State University. The Ptarmigan Country Club was in perfect condition and all the staff and volunteers were very welcoming. We were hosted by three lovely families: Joan and Mike Koltak, Paul and Ande Havenar, and George and Kathy Burnham. I, along with Sam, Jackie, and Michelle, stayed at the Burnham's and nothing can beat their beautiful view of the lake in the morning right by their backyard.

We were very well fed for brunch at the Burnham's on the morning of the practice round. The practice round went by smoothly; we finished right before sunset and got our game plans ready to execute. With only one returning player who played this tournament last year, we made the most of our practice round. George and Kathy also hosted our team/host families dinner that night which still makes my mouth water just thinking about the delicious meal we had.

The weather was perfect on our first day of the tournament. We struggled as a team on the first round, but we all bounced back and moved up two places finishing our second round with the score of 302. Jackie Calamaro shot her career best round of 71. I had the pleasure of watching her final 50 foot putt for birdie; her exclaim could be heard all the way from another fairway, but then again, that's Jackie.

We started off our final round with a positive attitude and with our heads held high. We did not do our best but, just like any other tournament, we took what we did well and used that to boost our confidence going into the next tournament and we learned from our mistakes.

Having lost five seniors, the team this year is definitely different but we still maintain a strong bond between all of us; Sam is also a perfect addition to our team and we are very excited to be playing alongside her this year. Although all of us would agree that this first tournament did not go according to plan, we all walked away with something new in mind; whether it be a new course management perspective, or a mental game plan, or merely a collegiate tournament experience.

We grew and gained something every day we went out and played. Now moving forward, we are preparing ourselves for a busy week ahead of us before we leave for the Dale McNamara Invitational in Tulsa, Okla., and then the Wolverine Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich., a few days after. This tournament was like a catalyst motivating us to work extra hard. I still have full faith in this team and know that the hard work we put in will soon payoff.

We will use this tournament as our learning experience and will continue to stay committed moving into our upcoming tournaments. It is now our opportunity to show how we are able to strive through rough rounds with an unshaken confidence and enjoy numerous successes this season!

Thank you for your support, 
Pimploy Thirati

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