Sept. 12, 2005
Ft. Chiswell, Va. - Today (Sunday, Sept. 11) begins a new chapter in Western Carolina Golf history. We begin our season on September 11th, a day that brings back somber memories of four years ago. Our team chose to adorn our golf bags with black ribbons reading "FDNY" to pay homage to the 343 firefighters who gave of their lives so selflessly on that day. We are using the ribbons as a reminder of the courage that New York's Bravest had and still have today. Hopefully we can wrangle up a little bit of that courage heading into tomorrow.
This year's team features three seniors, one junior, and two sophomores. We have been practicing hard in anticipation for this first tournament, and we have a lot of confidence heading into Monday's first round at the Draper Valley Intercollegiate. This is a great starting course, as there are a lot of birdie opportunities. We keep hearing that this is a place where you must, "Go Low or Go Home." Our preparation so far should allow us to capitalize on certain key holes. Everybody on the team played solid today, and we hope to carry that momentum into tomorrow.
On Sunday morning, we pulled out of the Creek Lot in Cullowhee at 9:00 am to embark on a three and a half hour trip up to Fort Chiswell, Va. We arrived around 12:30 pm, in time to have a quick bite of lunch at the course before warming up and heading out for an eighteen hole practice round. We finished up around 6:45 and Appalachian State, the tournament host, provided a nice dinner for all the tournament participants down at the pavilion.
Now we are back at the hotel, diligently working on homework before turning in for the evening. Our first tee time is at 9:02 am on Monday, so we'll be at the course by 8:00 for warm-ups.
I think Arnold Palmer summed it up best when he stated, "Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. It satisfies the soul, and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening--and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented."
- Erika Danford is a senior on the Western Carolina women's golf team who transferred to Western from the University of Florida prior to the 2004-05 season ... Danford was one of two female Catamount student-athletes honored as the 2004-05 Student-Athlete of the Year.