Following is the online diary of Susie Mathews as she competes in the NCAA Championships this week at Auburn’s Grand National Resort in Opelika, AL.
Mathews posted first round score of 71, one-under par, and was tied for fifth place entering round two.
We started our tee times between 12:20 and 12:40 and it was quite slow during the first few holes. Almost the whole field was out there. After a few holes — my fourth hole — we had a weather delay for lightning.
So we all piled into a van and sat there for about 45 minutes. The Duke players kept us all entertained. It was still quite humid so we (three groups) enjoyed the air conditioning. It was kind of like a pit stop. The front nine was slow for everybody. Finally, on the back nine things spread out and we were able to finish before dark. It was quite nice to finish today, because nobody wanted to go back out early in the morning.
The weather did come back, but we were already finished. Right now (9:45 p.m. CDT) there’s some fireworks going on outside with thunder and lightning lighting up the entire sky.
I was absolutely happy with my round today; and it helped out the team tremendously.
To have a chance, we’re going to have to play like this for four days. The team definitely feels like it left some shots out there — that we’ve got a lot of good shots left. We all know that the best team will win, and we all need to play well to do it.
At our team meeting we focused on staying hydrated and eating out on the course. With our late finish (Tuesday) and early start tomorrow (8 a.m.) it’s a quick turnaround, and we have to be prepared physically. Oklahoma State played early this morning and finished before all the weather delays. (The Cowgirls are leading the Bruins and Duke by one shot at even par.) We feel we definitely have our best golf ahead of us.
To play well on this course you definitely have to be on the correct side of the green. We all feel like we’ve got room to improve. We’re quite excited about the next few rounds.
I started out with five straight pars and then I bogeyed No.6. I hit a 7-iron onto the wrong tier of the green, and my first putt went miles by the hole. I three-putted for a soft bogey. I got it back on No.7 with a birdie. I positioned myself in the right spot on the fairway and hit it six feet and made the putt. I hit a lot of stiff shots today, but the putts weren’t falling.
My playing partner eagled No.9. She hit a 5-iron in the hole from the fairway. I made a bogey by hitting my third shot in the bunker and I couldn’t get up and down.
I birdied No. 13 (to get back to even par), which is one of the toughest holes on the course. I managed to fly my tee shot past the bunker in the landing area and I was on in two and made the putt.
The 16th is a short little hole with this swampy wet area mostly in front of the green about 30-100 yards. I birdied it when I hit a 7-iron to five feet and sank the putt.
There are leaderboards all over the course and I like to watch them, especially coming down the last few holes. A lot of people don’t like them, but I want to know. I definitely enjoy watching leaderboards.
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