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    Chip Shots with Crystal Smith
    Sophomore Crystal Smith

    Sophomore Crystal Smith

    March 7, 2011

    Go behind the scenes of Illinois women's golf with "Chip Shots," the online golf journal. In the ninth edition of the season, sophomore Crystal Smith discusses how the team played at their first spring tournament, along with the good food served in Georgia.

    Hey Illini fans,

    We recently got back from Kennesaw State's tournament in Valdosta, Georgia. It was nice to play in 80 degree weather and play on such a beautiful golf course. We knew we were in the south when the first thing we saw when we drove up to the golf course was a sign that said, "Welcome Y'all." It was fun to play with girls from the south with a thick southern accent who say "y'all" and "yes ma'am." We looked pretty pale compared to most of the teams we played against. But all of us definitely got some color after this tournament!

    We were paired up with Kennesaw State and Texas Tech for the first round. All of the girls on our team struggled with putting because we weren't use to reading the grain and putting on Bermuda grass. But after the first round, we became A LOT more aggressive. We just needed a few heartbreaker missed putts to get the point across that we need to hit firm putts.

    The second round was a little challenging because of the wind. We went into the round with confidence because if you live in Champaign you know that it gets pretty windy on the course. The third round was our best round of the tournament with Ember leading the way with a 71 (two under par), then Hailey with 74 and Sammi with 78. We posted a 305 on Tuesday which was the third best round of the day.

    I have to say that this tournament was a very well organized event. Kinderlou Forest was set up for a challenge, but the course was still fun to play. The club provided dinner for the players and the coaches each night which was phenomenal. The first night the theme was Italian, the second night was Mexican and the third night was Southern cooking. Each night had a different dessert that went with the theme.

    It was refreshing to play in such a great tournament and on a great golf course after being in Demirjian since the middle of January. It was nice to be kissed by the sun and play four rounds of golf in beautiful weather.

    Now back to Champaign and back to studying.

    See you in Jacksonville Illini fans and go Illini!

    Yours truly,

    Crystal Smith

    Illinois Athletics

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