Chip Shots with Nora Lucas
April 5, 2010
Go behind the scenes of Illinois women's golf with "Chip Shots", the online golf journal. In the ninth edition of the season, sophomore Nora Lucas talks about how the team spent their spring break, playing smart golf, and of course, food.
Well, where to begin?! What a spring break we had! Not only did we cover a lot of miles and see some great parts of our country, we also made history for Illinois Women's golf. As we began our trip out east we had one thing in mind and that was to put ourselves in a good position for NCAA regionals. Our goal this season, since day one, has been Otter Creek, which is the site for the central regional for NCAAs. After our event in Jacksonville we were feeling pretty confident, and we had been working really hard in practice in the weeks leading up to spring break.
Our first tournament was in Pinehurst, NC at the Pinehurst course # 6. A Tom Fazio classic, the #6 course set up a great layout that offered some great birdie opportunities while never leaving yourself with an easy two putt. Obviously we didn't play that well as a team and unfortunately finished in the lower half of the field, but I say this because from this adversity we faced in Pinehurst we learned a great deal and applied those setbacks to our next event. As most of you are aware, Coach was a highly decorated college player and she always is telling us that she learned the most not from the tournaments she won, but from the tournaments she lost. I think we took that message to heart after the Pinehurst event and it showed in our next event.
Before we made it down to Florida I have to mention that we made a few pit stops along the way. First off, we paid our respects to the late Payne Stewart at Pinehurst # 2 and all did our best to imitate his memorable pose form the US Open. In addition we had the wonderful opportunity to practice at the Country Club of North Carolina on Wednesday and I must say it was fabulous. We all agreed that it was the best range turf we had ever seen!
Later that day we headed to Florida for the University of Cincinnati Spring Invitational. We had a great practice session and had our minds set for the next event. Our practice round in Florida was very productive and we all settled on one thing: "Play smart." With that in mind we were able to post back-to-back sub 300 rounds the next day and go on to win the UC Spring Invitational. In addition three of my teammates (Hailey Koschmann, Samantha Sloan, and Kaitlyn Wampler) finished in the top three individually. It was so great to see our hard work pay off and get a win for the team. It was truly a team effort and we are so proud of our hard work and determination.
To celebrate that night we went to the Tampa Bay area, had a seafood extravaganza and watched the sunset, and of course had ice cream. We had a really great trip and are looking forward to our next three tournaments and accomplishing our goal of going to Otter Creek!