Day One Round-Up
TOYOTA CITY, Japan ?The conclusion of a long day left the American team in a four-way tie for first-place with Argentina, Columbia, and England after round one of the Junior World Golf Cup on Tuesday, thanks in large part to Erik Flores? 7-under 65. Flores? great round set a new course-record at the Chukyo Golf Club Ishino Course and was just one story from a day filled with.... memorable experiences.
Before elaborating on golf, I must first explain what made the day so different. I, along with several others, was to come with two teams to the course this morning on the 8:30 bus. When I got downstairs at 8:20, I found a note on the message board saying that the bus was leaving at 8:00 instead of 8:30 because of a situation with the players having enough time to eat breakfast before they were required to be on the course. Apparently the teams that were to be on the bus that morning were called, but the hotel had no way of knowing who else planned on being on the bus, so they had no control over the situation. After I stood there in amazement, wondering what in the you-know-where I was going to do next, I decided to ask around the lobby if anyone else was in the same situation in which I had found myself. I looked for the most bewildered people around, asking them if they were supposed to be out at the course. I ended up finding three others in my situation, one of which spoke Japanese. The other two were a mother and an aunt of a player for the Mexican team. We decided to call a cab to take us to the subway station and try to get out to the course that way. In the cab, the two Hispanic ladies were talking to each other in Spanish, the Japanese woman was talking to the cab driver in Japanese, and so I decided to talk to myself in English, just to feel like a part of the game of Musical Languages that we had going for the 15 minute ride.
Once we were to the subway, we discovered that it would be an hour and a half ride to Toyota City. That was still our best bet to get to our final destination though, so we went running through the downtown Nagoya subway station and hopped on the train just before it left. A couple stops later, we changed trains and flew through downtown Nagoya and eventually found ourselves on the Japanese mountainside in the middle of nowhere. Finally we hit Toyota City and got off our subway, just to find that we were still a half-hour cab ride away from the course. We had no other feasible choice, so we got in and 30 minutes later found ourselves where we were supposed to be two hours before. Now I know what it's like to be on the show "The Amazing Race." I love that show and now I can consider myself an expert Amazing Racer. They should let me be on the show based upon merit alone, but that's another story. So... I caught our guys making the turn to the back nine, and headed out on the course with them where I finally caught some golf.
Making the turn, Erik was at 3-under, Matt at 2-over, Michael was even, and Nick was 4-over. After following Erik for the first few holes of the back nine, it became evident that he was turning the course into his...well, you get the picture. He absolutely dominated the course, saying afterward, "I followed through with my game plan a lot more today (than in practice rounds). As long as I keep hitting the fairways, I?ll have a good chance to go for some of the pins."
The other guys weren?t too shabby either, as Nick came into the clubhouse at 3-over, which is awfully impressive since he found himself at 6-over early in the back nine. Matt stayed right around 1 or 2-over all day after missing a 3 1/2 inch par putt on number one. He laughed it off though and went on to have a fine round. Michael had a rough back nine, but contained the misfortune to finish at 2-over. After the round, the guys were in high spirits, knowing that they can, and plan to improve on their rounds tomorrow.
Cal?s (Un)official Shot of the Day comes from Mr. Flores. For those of you that don?t know, the "Un" is there because I am only able to see about half the holes and the award must go to a shot that I see personally. It used to be the "Official Shot of the Day," but the Feds interjected, flexing their judicial muscle. At the moment, we?re in an intense legal battle in an attempt to drop the unfair prefix. I?ll keep you up to speed on the proceedings because at the CAA, we refuse to be held down by "The Man." ANYWAYS, back to Erik?s shot. It comes to us live from the par-3 11th. Erik put his tee shot within 15 feet of the pin. In order to get his fourth birdie of the round, he would have to knock down a putt that would break at least twice. The putt did exactly that as Erik sent it to the bottom of the cup and won himself a very prestigious award at the same time.
The past 24 hours in 24 seconds: A team in the lead, musical languages, a player on a warpath, "Planes, Trains & Automobiles," great weather (again), a slight detour, one helpful Japanese lady, a course-record, and a few sites I didn?t plan on seeing.
All in all, it was a successful opening day for the Americans. They still have room to improve and you can bet that they?ll do exactly that as round two is less than a day away. As for me, I?m off to the hotel (hopefully with a more direct route this time), and I?ll be back tomorrow. Until then...bye bye.
2005 Toyota World Junior Golf Cup
First Round Results
T1. Argentina 212 (-4)
T1. Colombia 212 (-4)
T1. England 212 (-4)
T1. United States 212 (-4)
5. Mexico 214 (-2)
T6. Belgium 219 (+3)
T6. New Zealand 219 (+3)
8. Chinese Taipei 220 (+4)
T9. Canada 223 (+7)
T9. Japan 223 (+7)
T9. South Africa 223 (+7)
T9. Spain 223 (+7)
13. India 227 (+11)
14. Zimbabwe 230 (+14)
Top 10 Individuals
1. Erik Flores, United States 33-32=65 (-7)
2. Juan Pablo Solis, Mexico 35-31=66 (-5)
T3. Alan Wagner, Argentina 34-34=68 (-4)
T3. Hector Arias, Columbia 35-35=70 (-2)
T3.Juan Pablo Candela, Columbia 32-38=70 (-2)
T3. Oliver Fisher, England 33-37=70 (-2)
T8. Carlos Goya, Argentina 35-36=71 (-1)
T8. Ben Parker, England 36-35=71 (-1)
T8. Juan Fransisco Sarasti, Spain 35-36=71 (-1)
T8. Daniel Willet, England 35-36=71 (-1)