Junior Casey Burden
Feb. 28, 2007
Go behind the the scenes of Illinois women's golf with "Chip Shots", the online golf journal. In the third edition, junior Casey Burden talks about what it was like traveling and playing in the first tournament of the spring season.
We arrived at our destination very late Wednesday night after a long day of traveling. Although we were tired when we woke up early Thursday morning for our practice round, we had nothing to complain about...the weather was sunny and 80 degrees.
Our spring season began with our trip to Baytowne Golf Club in Sandestin, Florida for the Chrysler Challenge. Only five people travel to this first tournament and it is the first time this tournament has ever been held. Florida State was the host and is ranked top 20 in the country. We knew that the majority of the other ten teams in the tournament were ranked higher than us, but we went into the tournament determined to play our own games. Like with any sport, players improve when they compete against better competition.
The tournament consisted of three rounds of 18 holes beginning on Saturday. The first round had the worst conditions weather-wise. The wind was blowing at least 25-30 mph and the course was lengthy and not necessarily easy. We placed sixth out of the eleven teams after the first round and held that spot throughout the duration of the tournament. The last round had the best weather conditions. We took advantage of the weather and stayed and practiced for about an hour after the tournament had ended because we knew we couldn't practice much outside once we got back to Illinois.
In my own personal reflection of the tournament I determined this: It was our first tournament of the spring season and we have not been able to practice or play outside before playing in this first tournament. Every other team there had a chance to either play a tournament before this or practice outside in preparation for the tournament. Under these circumstances, our finish was not half bad. Every individual on our team has worked hard to get stronger and improve mentally during the off-season. It was apparent this past weekend that we have a lot of improvement to be made but that we are headed in the right direction. This team has a lot of motivation, talent, determination and commitment to each other and the game of golf. The weather should be warming up starting later this week and hopefully we will get the chance to play outside before we leave for our next tournament in Arizona Thursday, March 8th. Either way, we will be working toward our personal and team goals in the meantime (if that means only practicing indoors than we will make the best of it) and are looking forward to our next opportunity to compete.