Sophomore Maureen Liddy
Feb. 1, 2010
Go behind the scenes of Illinois women's golf with "Chip Shots", the online golf journal. In the sixth edition of the season, sophomore Maureen Liddy talks about the Illinois Challenge, traveling with the entire team and all the fun they had in Florida.
Hey Illini Fans!
We just got back from our 2nd annual trip to Florida for the Illinois Challenge where we play a Ryder Cup-style match play event against Illinois State University. We were in Venice, Florida, the hometown of our baby freshman, Crystal Smith! Despite some windy and rainy weather, we are the champions for the second year in a row! We were 4-0 in the best ball matches and 5-3 in the singles. It was so fun because a lot of the parents came all the way to watch, and we always love having them there. Crystal had her own little Venice, Florida, cheering section.
I think that everyone on the team can agree on the fact that this trip was a major bonding experience. It's kind of a big deal for us when we all travel to one tournament because usually only five or six players go. Whenever we are in the airport, we get the weirdest guesses to what kind of team we are. I think this trip we were asked if were the gymnastics team, basketball team (which I don't think makes sense because we have 4 girls close to 5 feet), soccer team, and even in a restaurant we were asked if we were a baseball team.
The week and a half leading up to the tournament we had practiced every day in pairs with our partner who we would play with in the morning best ball match. We roomed with our partner at the hotel, played the practice round together, and played together all 36 holes on the day of the tournament. We had to take carts because of pace of play and because the course had very, very long walks in between holes. In the words of Mr. Koschmann (Hailey Koschmann's dad) after he walked from the fourth to the fifth hole, "where's the next hole, Tampa?" It's always a little weird riding in carts in a tournament, but Samantha Sloan and I used that to our advantage to pump each other up for the next shot or hole. The range at the course was an "aqua range" meaning that half of it you hit the balls into water. I had never seen that before in my life, so I was a little confused as to how the range picker is supposed to get the golf balls. I thought that maybe the range picker was like half-boat, half-cart, but as soon as I asked that question to my team on the range, I knew it was a mistake because they all were on the ground laughing. I know Nora will be sure to remind me I asked that intelligent question on a daily basis...oops. :)
The night after the tournament Crystal's grandparents had us over for an AMAZING home cooked meal with all of the parents. That was probably one of the most fun parts of the trip. After dinner, Nora decided it would be a hilarious idea to imitate every single team member's signature dance move. I think we all, including coaches and parents, laughed for 45 minutes straight during that.
I have so many funny stories I could write, but this would be the longest Chip Shots ever. I can honestly say that was one of the best times I've had playing golf in a tournament. Mainly because I got to play with a teammate and really use her for motivation on the course. It's the best making a birdie putt and having Sam waiting to give me a high five right after!
Thanks for reading! We'll be back in Florida for our text tournament in March. For now, it's back to Demirjian to start preparing!
Maureen "Mo" Liddy