The Brewing Storm – Day 3

The forecast was a little rain with perhaps some lightning and the weatherman was right except it was lots of rain and both thunder and lightning.

I arrived just before 9 and missed the shuttle up so waited a little for the next one. By the time it arrived a couple others had joined me. A caddy and a photographer by the looks of the gear he was packing.

Just as we arrived at the media centre it started sprinkling. I got myself some breakfast and chatted to a photographer from the Calgary Herald. As I turned my computer on to respond to a couple of emails, the rain got heavier.

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Who doesn’t love a golf chat? 

I decided to stay inside for a bit while golf went on all around me in the wet. Dan Pino,  Director of Corporate Communications of Golf Canada, took a seat in one of the comfy chairs for press conferences and I decided to join him while getting Bill from Canadian Press to take a photo. We had a golf chat and I was introduced to Duncan Mills who runs junior tournaments all over Alberta.

He told us the story of Ethan Choi a 14yr old who shot 59 in the Alberta Bantam Championship. Amazing. Six birdies and an eagle on the front nine to turn in 28 strokes.

We had a chat about junior golf for a bit as the sky opened up. I was quite happy sitting inside considering I had canvas shoes on – I must admit I had gumboot envy today.

I returned to my desk and checked Facebook, seems my blog has made a list of the top 100 golf blogs on the web and sits at 86 and I also had a message from Edwin Fernandez.

Yesterday I met Edwin’s sister Yvonne at Glencoe Golf & Country Club and gave her one of my cards after telling her about Fairways. She wanted to put me in touch with her brother.

Edwin messaged me and as it was raining and I wasn’t heading out anytime soon, we had a remote golf chat talking about golf in Bolivia. He told me about the junior programs he was running before being invited to Canada where he was introduced to golf and fell in love immediately.

I completely understand.

He told me about problems they have with the youths and the golf programs they were running and that by giving them golf it is instilling values that are connected to the game.  He told me that they don’t have golf institutes in Bolivia so they have had to teach themselves. His final question was “When are you coming to Bolivia?”.

I forwarded the messages to Jeremy (Fairways’ COO) who noted my response was that I wouldn’t be able to get to Bolivia until next year. Canada, India, Bolivia – why ever not?

Mi falta practicar mi español.

As the rain stopped I headed out to watch the golf and Jo (who I golfed with yesterday) was just arriving so I waited for her and we headed off to watch the women work their magic.

We went to the 18th green to start our golf viewing and Lori Kane was coming through. As she stepped up to the green a cheer went up from the crowd. I snapped a few photos of my friend Charlotte who was caddying for her (Lori’s niece) and headed off to the first to get a few more photos as Charlotte and Lori talking strategy.

Jo and I were walking down the first when Patrick from the LPGA whizzed by in a cart and as I said hello he slowed but didn’t stop telling me they were about to blow the horn and stop play due to lightning.

Jo and I turned around deciding to find shelter before the storm came through. We considered telling everyone streaming past us and the one man I did tell looked at me strangely, looked at the sky, shook his head and marched off just as the horn sounded ending play.

As big drips started falling thunder rolled in the distance.

When we got to the marquees we spotted some couches in the Nocturne tent and settled in as the storm brewed. Jo tried some of the liquor they had on offer and we giggled at one of the girls wardrobe malfunction – her skirt was too short and her ass was literally hanging out. Once it was noticed by the marketing rep the issue was quickly rectified.

Jo seemed to know every second person so we were not short of conversation as we watched the storm pass. We had sat for near an hour when I decided to head to the media tent and get the scoop.

As I returned a gentleman, Adam, was handing out discount cards for Golf Town and tried to give them to me for the 3rd time then smiled when he noticed it was me again. I told him there are no stores near me on PEI and we both said in unison “There is one in Moncton”.

To be honest Moncton is not really close to where I live and while a lot of Islanders head to Moncton for shopping they can’t get on island, as I travel a lot I don’t need to spend the time nor money heading to Moncton to shop.

We got chatting about PEI and golf and how I came to be on PEI. We then talked about junior golf as Golf Town has just aligned with Golf Canada’s Golf in Schools program and is helping them raise funds.

I told him about Fairways and the juniors on PEI and the trip to India and the now pending trip to Bolivia. He was quite impressed with our progress and I told him that Golf Town could help us next year as we planned to expand across Canada sponsoring juniors in every province.

Jo joined us which was great as it had started to rain again and she covered us with her umbrella as we continued chatting.

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A bit of sun before this rolled in. 

As the rain had set in she headed off and I returned to the media centre and worked for what ended up being a near 3 hour rain delay. I did get an awesome lunch and got quite a bit of work completed.

As I was sitting there a man walked by my desk, stopped and said “Weren’t you golfing at Glencoe yesterday?” Why yes I was, well spotted Laurence. Turns out Laurence is the starter at Glencoe.

He is also a freelance writer for the Canadian Press. We chatted for a bit about golf, travel, his trip to Australia, Fairways and golfing around the world.

I returned to my desk and worked as we waited for an update. Play was going to resume at 2.40pm. The range opened at 2pm and the players were going to be shuttled back out at 2.20pm.

I headed off to the 5th snapping some photos of the various players coming through. I was heading to the 3rd but stopped on the 4th watching three groups come through. Lydia Ko was on the green so I took a couple of photos flashing my credentials to concerned volunteers who were waving madly at me.

I checked the book and decided to stay until Lori Kane came through. Michelle Wie was in the group between them and boy is she tall. I have only ever seen her on television so you don’t really notice her tower over her opponents.

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Lori on the right draining a birdie putt – it was never missing. 

The next group through was Lori Kane and I spotted Char walking down the fairway shouldering Lori’s bag. The spectators beside me commented saying “that poor girl dragging those clubs around for Lori, they must be so heavy for her. Surely Lori could get a different caddy” I set them straight telling them that Charlotte is one of the strongest women I know and she could probably bench press Lori.

I train with Charlotte at Crossfit Charlottetown and have seen her lift some phenomenal weights.

Lori had hit her second shot just off the green of the 4th and I watched her drain the putt and do a little birdie dance.

I love watching great golf.

I headed back in to the media centre and stopped to watch and photograph Steph Meadow hit her second shot on the 4th. I meandered my way back in chatting with volunteers all the way.

As I got to the first hole I saw crowds lining the fences and knew Brooke Henderson was about to tee off. What a bomb! It was at least 20 yards longer than any other drive I had seen on the 1st. I spotted Patrick in his cart waiting for the girls to play through and I headed over for a chat.

I photographed Brooke’s second shot and the crowds as they swarmed after her.

I spent a couple hours in the media centre and was pleased to be there for Lydia Ko’s press conference who was currently tied in 1st at -5.

That lasted about 20 minutes 0r until Steph Meadow holed out finishing her round with two birdies that had her in 1st on -6.

Due to the rain delays there was still lots of golf to be had when I left hitching a ride to my car with Bill.

Tomorrow I will only be there for half a day as I am heading off to golf myself and the best part about that is the weather is meant to be fantastic.

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