My player this week is Anna Rawson.
Monday: Touched down at the Columbus airport and before I could get a shuttle to pick up my car Anna’s agent called confirming our working relationship. I was to head for Concord NH to meet her on Tuesday. With an 800+ mile drive ahead of me I wasted no time getting on the road.
Had to dive through a few vicious thunderstorms which were brief but cut visibility down to only a few feet at times. Didn’t seem to bother most truckers though as they still sped down the hammer lane (passing lane). Most of us mere mortals are putzing along at 35-40 miles an hour and they’re still maintaining highway speeds. I know this had to be the cause of the catastrophic accident in the West bound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that I passed. A small unrecognizable auto was crushed like an accordion in the hammer lane. It just must have happened as no emergency vehicles were present. The car must have slowed and the truck not. No time to stop and it’s death on the highway. If you ever run into similar conditions get out of the hammer lane. Let the crazies go by and don’t assume they’ll slow down like you.
Tuesday: The course is still open to amateur play until tomorrow, and being impossible to check it out without being in someone’s way, I waited till the afternoon. Went out around 3:30 but only got in seven holes. Anna called and desired to play nine. Finished around six and I called it a day.
- I’m staying with Rick “The Nerd”, who is looping for Chris Tamulis, and he found a small motel called the Elmwood. Large room, good AC and close to the course but with an antiquated phone system. Second week in a row without Internet. Bummer!
Wednesday: Arrived early and walked the entire course this time. Not much to it. The greens are in good shape but the fairways need grass. They really should play it up but I don’t think it’s going to happen.
Thursday: Pro-am day. We had the 7:30 shotgun wave playing a bramble format. We take the best drive and everyone plays their own ball out from there. The two best balls count and you can’t make more than a double.
- Afterward, Anna invited me in to the pro-am luncheon which could have been a disaster. Lori Atsedes, another player and once on the LPGA Tour, turned Anna in for bringing me to lunch. Seems the fine is $100 and the caddie is suspended from working that week! When notified by one of the officials, Anna pointed out that this rule has been ignored by many of the players in the past and sated some examples. In all fairness, “If you suspend my caddie you have to suspend them all” she concluded. The official agreed and waved the fine and suspension. It’s amazing how petty some people may be. Lori should be ashamed of herself.
Friday: Shot a respectable -1 but should have been a bit better. Perfect conditions and many wedge shots to the hole.
- We played the ninth and eighteenth hole ball in hand but as I stated earlier, the whole course should be played that way.
- The players had a mandatory meeting the other day and the dress code was one subject on the agenda. Too much skin was showing on a few players and Anna thought she might be a target of enforcement. She brought along a change of clothing just in case but wasn’t needed. On the other hand, tee shirts, sans collars, are a no-no but guess who was wearing one? Lori Atsedes! So much for the rules. If you ask me, belly-shirts on portly chicks should be addressed. It’s not pretty!
Saturday: Something was awry as we headed for the first tee. Anna just didn’t seem herself. Instead of a more relaxed, easy-going canter it was more like a jump start in hyper-drive. It was like that for a few holes until she settled down. Maybe it was the reminder, given to her on the range by Jodie, a Future’s Tour employee, that she was only one shot off the leader board. With 36 holes to play, you don’t need to put a thought like that into a player’s head just before tee-off. He apologized afterward.
The front nine wasn’t pretty. Four over at the turn but brought it back on the more challenging back finishing +2 for the day.
- We were paired with Meaghan Franncella for the second day in a row but this time she had my buddy Steve Kolchar on the bag. Steve is Perry Swenson’s looper but she withdrew due to an infection on her chin which spread to her eyes. This was serious stuff. A delay in treatment and pneumonia was a possibility.
Sunday: 17 two-putt pars and a double bogie. Anna hit it well but the putts wouldn’t fall. Overall, it wasn’t bad for our first event together.
- Perry failed to follow through on the antibiotics she was given and wound up in hospital. An intravenous application was necessary.
- Anna is taking a holiday in Boston for a day or two. I’ll be a girls night out as a couple other players join her on the trip. I will be driving to Syracuse early tomorrow to find a motel and check out as much of the course as I can. A caddie’s work is never done.