Posts Tagged ‘Lexi Thompson’

Junior Golf: Is There An Afterlife?

 

Now before any of you start thinking I’m getting all ethereal and deep-thinking on you, I’m just having some fun with ya!

img_0337-1

Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Yeah, probably I should have said is there a life after, as in after junior golf and college golf?

Advance planning, as in plan ahead is the key. It is never too early to ask your golfer where he/she wants to be after 4 years of college eligibility have expired. The options are endless: play professional golf, work in the golf industry, take a break from golf, get an interim job to make some money, pursue another career path or move to Timbuktu and just veg out for a while? There are options and the earlier you bring them up, the better.

Our eyes were opened wide over the years as we heard so many talented college golfers talk about their post-graduation plans. Our brother and sister golfers from Spain, are pursuing their engineering careers and the brother is showing an incredible talent in robotics!. Another teammate is in the golf industry near Houston working on golf videos, coaching and training, although he’s always loved politics and something in me thinks he might dip his toe in that water at some point. AJ is back in the down-under getting a law degree and making custom golf clubs. And we have a couple of friends trying to get on the web.com Tour.

Our personal frame of reference is of course, unique to us, but not really unusual. Graduating from college in 4 years with a degree is a big deal in our family and we wanted to celebrate. Sammie asked Linda and me to join him on his graduation trip so we went to Florida and played a bunch of golf and had a great time. Upon returning to San Antonio, S3 was ready to take a break from 16 years of non-stop golf. In our talks about his future I mentioned that it took me a couple of years after college to find my niche in the business world and that while he needed to get a job to support himself, I suggested he take a breath and keep his eyes and ears open. And he has ended up with a great opportunity in management training with Chick fil A.

8AB9B440-3935-4263-9B09-3E1FAE4885B8

So we recently entered an 8-week 2-man best ball tournament at the newly renovated San Pedro Golf Academy playing the excellent and challenging par-3 course. After our 1st match, S3 said to me, “Dad, playing competitive golf again really gets me going. It makes me realize how much I miss it!” What does this mean? I have no clue, but it’s sure fun to hear!

Dad and Mom, there is certainly a life after all those years on the golf course. There’s nothing wrong with your son/daughter not wanting to be the next Jordan Spieth or Lexi Thompson. They can surely enjoy playing golf with the Peeps and maybe enter a tournament now and then.

See you on #1 tee knowing what you want to do… Sam

Advertisements

Junior Golf: Ladies’ Exciting Finish

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will review the action from Saturday’s final round of the Rio Olympics Women’s Golf. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135-1

The day started with Inbee Park in the lead and she was joined by Lydia Ko and Gerina Pillar in the final 3-some. Stacy Lewis had a terrible round on Friday and had left herself a fairly long chance at medalling. Lexi Thompson, after a solid round on Day 1, never was able to get back into the trophy hunt.

There was considerable drama, but not really as to who would win the gold. Inbee started out making some birdies and increased her lead where only a major collapse on her part would knock her out of 1st place. While she made a couple of bogeys on the back 9, she also made more birdies and she just wasn’t letting go of that Gold Medal.

The great battle was for the other 2 spots, silver and bronze. Remember in The Olympics there are only 3 spots that matter. 4th through 60 all are the same and are meaningless other than having the excellent distinction of being able to call oneself, an Olympian.

Lexi Thompson had her best 18 holes at Rio with a 66. It was however, a case of too little, too late. Her total of 281 left her T-19, 13 shots out of the lead. Good for her shooting a low final round!

Gerina Pillar was paired with 2 # 1’s and got outplayed. Birdies were required on these last 18 holes and Gerina just couldn’t get the birdie train rolling. She had a 74, her worst Olympic round by 5 shots, while watching Indee and Lydia make birdies. This was an opportunity to really learn some things about pressure-packed final rounds! She finished T-11, 278, 10 shots out of 1st and 4 shots from 3rd.

Stacy Lewis and about 7 other players were where the action was! She started making some birdies and climbed into contention at 1 point for a possible silver or bronze. Knocking heads with Stacy were Lydia Ko, ShanShan Feng, Haru Nomura, Amy Yang, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee and Charley Hull.

After a disastrous 76 on Friday, Stacy shot a final round 66 putting her in the bubble spot of maybe 3rd, probably 4th. Her birdie putt on 18 literally hung on the lip, just 1/16th of a roll and it would have gone in and likely put her in a bronze medal playoff. So close! (photo bbc.com)image

Stacy Lewis finished T-4, 275, 1shot from bronze and 2 shots from silver. She was joined by Haru Nomura and Amy Yang. Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee and Charley Hull all were T-7, 276.

This was a very exciting final round because we actually had 10 ladies with a legitimate chance to medal, and the final 2 places weren’t decided until the end of play. And they were all fighting hard because again, only 3 places count! These are the rarest trophies in golf and must be fought for with every ounce of energy and skill! Thanks ladies for some great entertainment!

See you on #1 tee looking entertaining… Sam

Junior Golf: USA! USA!

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at the ladies golf standings at the Rio Olympics. It looks like the women may give us a great finish just as the men did last week.img_0106-1

Things are heating up in Rio as Stacy Lewis fired an 8-under par, 63 in a round that had 11 birdies, a double-bogey and 1 bogey to put her 1 shot out of the lead after the 1st 2 rounds. Gerina Pillar shot 67 putting her 4 shots back and Lexi Thompson had an even par round to end up 6 strokes out of 1st place. All our ladies are still in a position to medal, partially because of the unique format for this event. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

On the list of things I think are great for golf, in this instance, women’s golf, here are a couple: 1st, the ladies are playing the same course the men played, they are playing it at 6,245 yards, about 900 yards shorter than the men. But it’s cool to see how their games compare to the men. Remember, 16-under was the gold medal score for Justin Rose. And it’s a 72-hole tournament, common for the women, but there is more mental and physical effort required to medal here in Rio. It’s good for them to be out of their comfort zone, I mean it’s The Olympics! (photo sbnation.com)image

Today will be interesting because players will be trying to get in a position to be in the top 3 at the end of the day tomorrow. Another way Olympic golf is different from Tour golf is that on tour, players are rewarded in some fashion for a Top 10 or maybe Top 25 fashion. Perhaps it’s ranking points or money. Here in Rio it’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd and then NOTHING! So the mentality is play to win!

1more time, please record, record, record! Set that TiVo! Let’s watch some golf. Go USA!

See you on #1 tee, ready to win… Sam

Junior Golf: Ladies Begin Play

In this Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the Ladies Golf at the Rio Olympics. Play begins today and ends Saturday. The format is 72-hole stroke play, same as the men’s event won by Justin Rose of Great Britain. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102-1

The women have pretty much all of their top stars on hand so the competition should be excellent. Our Team USA includes Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Gerina Pillar and it will be most interesting to hear from them about all the ramifications of being an Olympian and being the 1st women Olympic golfers since 1900.

1 of the things not mentioned often enough is that Olympic medals are the rarest of them all, being up for competition only once every 4 years. I’ll leave it up to you math wizards out there to compute the odds, but the factors involved in winning an Olympic gold medal vs a major would be: a golfer has 16x the chances to play in a major based on frequency of occurrence, every year for majors and every 4 years for The Olympics. Then majors likely have about 156 entries each and there are many different ways to be eligible to enter each major, oh and there are 4 majors each year all of which have extremely high levels of prestige, although different. Olympic golf has a maximum of 4 entries per country, based on rankings. So math folks, go crazy here and give me a number of how rare an Olympic golf medal is compared to winning a major, please!

image

The point I’m trying to make is that Olympic medals in golf are very rare birds. In fact, golf’s future after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where golf is included, will be determined at a meeting in 2017. So it is possible that golf could again be eliminated at the 2017 meeting and starting at the 2024 Olympics, it would be gone. Who knows for how long? Maybe medals from Rio and Tokyo would be the ONLY Olympic golf medals for another 100 years, Wow! So after Tokyo you would have a maximum of 6 different men and 6 different women who would have Olympic golf medals and all the other great players would be looking at that vacant spot in their trophy case never knowing if there would ever be another chance for them to win an Olympic medal to fill in that spot. (photo golfnewsnet.com)

The coverage begins at 5:30am today on The Golf Channel. All rounds are replayed several times throughout the day. Please, set your TiVo. This is golf history and it will excite your daughter and give her some opportunities to dream big! Can’t wait!

See you on #1 tee looking like an Olympian… Sam

Junior Golf: US Wins IC

In this Monday Mulligan we will enjoy looking at the great come from behind win the US LPGA stars pulled off this past weekend! (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135

The International Crown event was created in order to give the excellent Asian women’s golfers an international team event where they could play and represent their country. This is an 8-team event where eligibility is determined by the combined Rolex World Rankings of the 4 top players from each country. The 8 countries with the lowest totals get to play.

Countries are then seeded and placed into 2 4-team brackets and play 3 days of 4-ball, which is usually called best ball or better ball in the US. For example: 2 players from 2 teams play in a 4-some. Each player plays her own ball through the hole and the lowest score of the team’s 2 players is used. The 2 teams with the most points after 3 days of best ball, from each bracket, advance along with a 5th-place, wildcard team, to Sunday’s singles matches.

Sunday, yesterday, was singles matches where for instance, the 4 US ladies played 1×1 vs South Korea, England, Taiwan and wildcard entry, Japan. 2 points for a win, 1 for a tie and 0 for a loss.

To put things in perspective, the US played poorly on day 1, Thursday and got no points. Yes, that’s zero, nada, the big 0, whatever you choose to call it. So our girls were in a not so good spot, but still had a chance to win with strong play and that’s what happened.

Friday we got 3 points with a halve and a win and Saturday was a 4-point day for our ladies with 2 victories. So entering Sunday’s singles matches we were in 2nd place with 7 points, 1 point out of 1st place. Not bad, still having a chance to win.image

Singles matches meant money-time for the US as our players went on a tear! Stacy Lewis beat Japan’s Mika Miyazato 3 and 2. Gerina Gillar smoked Taiwan’s former World #1 Yani Tseng, 4 and 3. And Christie Kerr dominated England’s tough Mel Reid, 3 and 2. Lexi Thompson and her putter had an inconsistent day and she lost 2 and 1 to South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu. But, the US got 6 points for a total of 13 points and none of the other teams had a chance to catch up. US ladies win, congratulations! (photo gabrielroux.com.mx)

What this means to parents of junior golfers is that you should be encouraging your daughters to have the confidence that they can hit good shots and can get low scores. Everybody has some bad shots, bad holes and a bad round. It’s coming back from those poor situations and hitting good shots is what it’s all about. It’s what life is all about. It’s what enabled our ladies to win the IC! Be an encourager!

See you on #1 tee looking encouraged… Sam

%d bloggers like this: