Well, in honor of football season, it's time to "kick-off" another edition of men's golf blog. In my last edition I predicted who the winners would be in both College and Pro Football (you'll have to go back and read if you can't remember). In this edition we're going to discuss golf, in particular, the record-setting golf that our players have performed the last several days.
I don't know if you folks out there are fans of karma. I don't know if you know what karma even means. To be honest, I'm not sure I do, but I do know one thing: karma is alive and well in the game of golf! Consider this: since last September when Matthew Campbell shot 67 at Kiawah Island, I have been parking my car in lot #66 in the football stadium parking lot. As some of my colleagues have asked/stated, that particular parking space is a good distance from my office in Holland Hall. My answer has been that I am trying to create some karma for my players, hoping that a new school record of 66 would be the result of my extended walks on campus.
Well, let me tell you, we could be in for a karma revolution of sorts in the game of golf! In our first two tournaments of 2009-10, we have had not only one, but two 66's! Sean Collard, a senior, was the first to break the record, shooting 66 on Saturday in The Honda of Columbia Fall Classic. He followed that up with a 71, which set a new 36 hole scoring record in addition to his 18 hole record. Then, 48 hours later, Daniel Stanley, a junior, shot 66 at The Laker Invitational in Atlanta to tie the new mark. Then, to totally disrepect his elders, Daniel shot 69 on Tuesday to break the 36 hole scoring record that stood for all of 48 hours. Daniel did not know what it felt like to bogey a hole for the entire tournament! As there was good karma to be had, so there had to be bad karma as well. Chris Carlin, from Barry University, shot a - you guessed it - 66 to come from behind and beat Daniel by 2 shots in The Laker Invitational for Medalist honors. Ben Lown, another junior, and Chandler Gruenemeier, a freshman, also played extremely well in Atlanta. Ben joined Daniel on the All-Tournament team shooting 69-68.
As a team, the karma of 66 has led to some mind-blowing numbers: in four competitive rounds, we have shot 278, 273, 284 and 278. That's a stroke average of 278.25 - 10 under par! I'm sure every coach that has ever seen his players collectively get in the zone hopes it lasts forever, knowing that it won't. But that doesn't mean my players won't try their best to make sure the hot streak continues. It's awesome to see how much fun they're having and to witness their confidence grow before your eyes. That karma is some powerful stuff!
In 1966, Billy Casper came from 7 shots down on the back nine of the US Open at The Olympic Club to overtake Arnold Palmer. No doubt Billy was feeling the power of the karma of 66, the only question is, did it allow him to park 3 feet closer to the clubhouse at his club?