Below is a daily blog from junior captain Gemma Webster of the Ohio State women’s golf team. The Buckeyes compete in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational March 17-19 in Austin, Texas. Follow the team live on golfstat.com.
Friday, March 14
The Buckeyes are all finished with finals and are heading to Austin, Texas, for spring break. It was an early start this morning with several alarms going off at around 4 a.m. to get to the airport at 5:30. However, once we got there we soon realized that there were plenty more people up and about and ready to go on their travels.
It wasn’t long before we arrived into Austin. The weather outside was perfect, clear blue skies and a nice breeze. The coaches arrived in their minivans and we headed on our way. As usual, we stopped at a Subway and had a relaxing lunch before driving to the University of Texas’ Course, where the Betsy Rawls Invitational will be held this week.
This afternoon, our team had a really good practice session. The facilities there are absolutely great with lots of space and greens to practice on. We spent a fair amount of time working on our short games as this will be a key area for us to master this week. In general, Texas is known for some windy, blustery conditions so missed greens will be inevitable. Before long it was time to go to dinner and we all headed to a place called Oasis. It was a massive restaurant with maybe four floors of tables overlooking a huge lake. It was a gorgeous setting and a great way to finish off a productive days work.
Saturday, March 15
Well, today is March the 15th and a special day for one of our Buckeyes. Yes, it’s my 22nd birthday and I couldn’t have asked to spend it with a better bunch of people — my team!
We had a casual breakfast at the hotel before heading over to a country club/resort called the Wolf Dancer. It was a great looking resort filled with lots of activates such as horse riding, hiking trails, pool as well as a golf course. The course was pretty hilly and had long walks in between holes, so for this occasion our team was able to play in carts. As usual we headed to the driving range to warm up but this time there was no need for any of us to listen to our ipods as there was some good traditional Texas music been played through speakers over us as we hit. Our team thought this was a neat touch.
Our tee times were around noon so after grabbing a quick bite to eat in the club house we headed out to the first tee. The course played pretty tough for the majority of us, but I think it will be really beneficial for the team to have played out here. It is a very different style of golf down here in Texas especially with the grass being so dormant. This made the course play pretty hard and fast and so a lot of punch shots and use of imagination were involved.
After our rounds were over, we drove to Downtown Austin where we had dinner at PF Changs. This was a nice setting and while we were there we were able to see what life is like in this part of the state. Thankfully we had Haley Brown with us, who is originally from here and she was able to show us around after our meal. This was a nice as a lot of the time we never really get to see the area around where we are playing as there just isn’t enough time in the day.
Sure enough, the day flew by and before you knew it the birthday candle had been blown, the last piece of cake had been eaten and it was time for the Buckeyes to get some sleep. I just want to thank my whole team and my coaches for making my birthday a memorable one!
Sunday, March 16
Today was the official practice round for the Buckeyes. As usual, the team started off the day with a solid breakfast at the hotel before heading to the University of Texas Golf Club. We were the first team of the field to get out on the course which definitely worked in our favor. It made our day seem and feel very productive. I played with Carling [Coffing] and Emma [Jandel] this morning. Although it was a practice round we had a little competition between ourselves. We decided to play skins and the person with the most skins at the end of the 18 holes would have to clean the other two peoples golf shoes.
Once again the wind really started to pick up later on in the morning so punch shots and smart club choice were really important. Our coaches also taught us about reading the grain on these greens and things in which we need to really pay attention too. After a southern style barbecue lunch, we all managed to get a great practice session in and the Buckeyes left the course feeling good going into tomorrow’s round.
Dinner quickly followed around 6:30 where all the teams met in a Mexican style restaurant across from the hotel. A nice buffet was served for all of us in the competition.
Every tournament our coaches put together a special “Buckeye” yardage book for us. This can really be a key tool for our team if we use these books correctly. This week we should definitely be paying a lot of attention to the details on these greens as I can assure you that this will save us several shots!
Tomorrow we play with New Mexico and Florida, which are two highly ranked teams in the country. I think this is a really big chance for the Buckeyes to step up and show them and everyone else in the field that we CAN compete and in fact we WILL be competing for this title! So log on to www.golfstat.com and watch OSU hole by hole.
LET’S GO BUCKS!
Monday, March 17
Today was the first round of the tournament. We met around 8 in the morning to head to the course. After a traditional southern breakfast which consisted of breakfast tacos and juice, our team was ready to head to the range to loosen up. Today’s forecast was scheduled for some serious windy conditions but the Buckeyes looked fearless of these blustery conditions as we punched our way through our warm up sessions. Our tee times started at around 9:45 and the first out of the blocks was Jennifer Cassidy closely followed by the hometown girl Haley Brown.
For the most part of the morning I had a solid game going and I felt the same vibe throughout the team. This was obvious as we reached the turn in second place. It was a nice change to see the Buckeyes up the leader board where we should be. We were 8-over as a team through nine holes. This was a great start considering the conditions.
However, our grind and determination slowly deteriorated through the back nine where all the team members dropped shots. We finished extremely poorly and looking back on it now I can tell you that one hole managed to drop us about six positions. As you can imagine the coaches, as well as the team, were speechless once our final player, Emma Jandel, finished. I can understand this frustration; we had it going. You must ask yourself, why do you bother fighting all day in these 40 mph winds to throw it all away at the end!
The practice session afterwards was beneficial for the team as we all focused on our areas of weakness for tomorrow. At the end of the day we are tied for 11th position with only five shots between us and the Top 5, so a good recovery round tomorrow will stand us in great shape for the final day!
LET’S GO BUCKS! FIGHT UNTIL THE END!
Click here for the complete recap and results of round one.
Tuesday, March 18
Our day started off with a continental breakfast served at the hotel. We then met around 10:30 to go to the course and get ready for the days round. However, un- climatic weather was forecasted and just around midday the horn was blasted. All the players who were out on the course were shuttled in and the majority of the teams met under a sheltered seating area. Time soon went by and the coaches had a meeting with the head organizer. The plan was for the remaining teams who had not yet started to do a shot gun start at around 2-2:30, but unfortunately lightening and thunder came quickly around the corner and it did not look good for the next few hours. The skies were dark and gloomy and the greens were starting to flood. By around 2 p.m. the head organizer made an executive decision and decided that today’s round would be abandoned and that we will resume play tomorrow morning.
To be honest it is unfortunate that we did not get a chance to complete today’s round but there is nothing we can do about the weather. All the teams headed out from the golf course to the hotel to get shelter. At night, we headed to Haley’s house where her parents had made appetizers for our team. We then headed downtown for some home-style cooking. The Brown family organized this meal for us this evening and we are very thankful for there hospitality and generosity this entire trip! Thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Brown!
Before long it is time to pack our bags and get our things organized for the next and final day of our spring break.
Wednesday, March 19
It was an early start for the Buckeyes this morning with check out at 6:30 a.m. After loading the vans our team headed to the golf course for breakfast. It was a cold and blustery morning, with the wind switching directions and coming predominantly out of the north. However, after getting some scrambled egg in our bodies we were ready to warm up at the range. Today was an 8:45 shot gun so around 8:30 we all headed to our designated tees. By this time the sun had come up, but was still relatively cool.
The Buckeyes got off to a solid start with Jennifer Cassidy having birdies at the first two holes. However, the course was playing pretty tough with this north wind which made some holes pretty long. But you have got to realize that this is the same for all the teams. If you are struggling then so will the rest of the field. From this moment you have just got to dig deep, stay in the present and grind it out. Our seniors on this trip, Haley Brown and Carling Coffing, managed to do this. CC shot 77 today which was the second lowest round in the entire field and hometown girl Haley Brown shot 79. Considering the conditions out there these were two very respectable scores. Overall, the teams did not play well today but the Buckeyes managed to make a move and ended up finishing in seventh position passing some solid teams.
Click here for the final recap and results from the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational