This one awesome chip for birdie, that’s what can keep you coming back…
Callaway Junior World Golf Championship is the biggest junior golf competition in the world. Over 1,200 children from all of the world and the U.S. descend upon San Diego to compete for the coveted title of World Champion. My girls were the younger in their age divisions this year, and one year at this age makes such a big difference! So, the goal was to have a fun golf vacation. We stayed at the resort where Kayla played while driving Nalani to her tournament course about a half hour away.
Nalani has played this little executive course several times, averaging perhaps +12 I think. Her best score on the course was +5 which she is perfectly capable of achieving again, but only if her short game really works for her. She’s 9 but still couldn’t reach 4 of the Par 3′s with her driver, so that will give you an idea of how difficult the length for her is.
Well, she had a decent first round finishing +8 a very respectable score. The 2nd day wasn’t so great with 2 double bogeys that she wasn’t happy with, so she finished +10. Then, on the 3rd day, she started off with a very heartbreaking quadruple bogey number one. She took a bad shot out of the bunker which flew over the green, under a tree with wood chips, got it out but into the rough and so on. She then went to complete the front 9 +9, bogey golf.
Nalani then proceeded to par #10, a difficult uphill shot using her 5-iron over a very deep bunker to an extremely slopey green. She was able to make a downhill 2-putt from the fringe. Then, on #11, had another shot with her wood to a slightly uphill green with greenside bunkers on both the left and right. She hit the bunker, just 1 foot from the edge and bogey’d the hole. But, the birdie chip at #12 really made her round. She then proceeded to hit only 1 more green the remainder of her round, but saved par on every hole thereafter. So, she finished her back 9 even Par. She came in happy with her +9 round and offered to buy her friends ice cream (with my debit card in tow).
What is so amazing about this little girl is that during her practice round Monday, which she played with two 10 year old girls from Thailand and a 10 year old from Texas, she told me she didn’t want to play this tournament next year. She was so nervous going in and really didn’t want to deal with the pressure every year. But, after finishing her final 9 holes even Par, Nalani tells me she wants to do it again. She said that was her best score on the back-9 and now is confident she’ll be able to play well as a 10 year old in the field.
Those great shots, they sure do bring you back to the game!