Jennifer Elsholz: Itís the Preview for a Reason
The MAC Preview was the main focus of our fall season. Not only were we the defending champions, but we wanted to make a statement before the MAC Championship.
We packed up Rocket Reba at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and headed to our destination-Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, OH. We were ready to go and defend our title. For most of the three-hour drive we slept, but we all woke up in time to hear someone yell "TURKEY!" and to see a giant bird fly across the highway just a few feet from our van. Thankfully we survived that close encounter and continued on our way towards Longaberger. We arrived, unloaded, and headed out for our practice round. But before we teed it up we ran into NIU's head coach (our previous assistant) Kim Kester. It was exciting to see her in her new colors and we were happy that she was doing well!
We enjoyed the wonderful fall weather and all the gorgeous views Longaberger had to offer! The holes were lined with the most gorgeous trees covered with orange, red, and yellow leaves. We all felt really good about the course, and we saw many signs that told us to go win. After our practice round and some extra putting practice we went to Applebee's to enjoy some 2 for $20! With a good meal in us and some good mojo being sent around we prepared ourselves for the next day.
Day One came and our tee times began at 9:40. It was a chilly day with lots of clouds covering the sky. We made it through about nine holes before the first wall of rain fell. I was on the No. 8 fairway when I heard the rain falling on the pond behind the green. While walking to the green, I could hardly see in front of me when the rain stopped and the wind began to blow. It continued to howl on No. 9 then died down. The weather continued to be on and off windy and rainy until I got to No. 17. After hitting my approach shot, I watched as another wall of rain traveled at me. A steady rain then fell for the rest of No. 17 and all of No. 18. We didn't play as well as all our signs had told us too, but Sathika and I came in with a pair of 77's followed by an 82 and 85.
We were ready for a better day on Tuesday, but before we could get some homework done and go to bed we headed to Emily Dixon's house for dinner. After laying downstairs and shooting some pool for a little bit, we went upstairs to see an array of food laid out for us. Lasagna, salad, and breadsticks awaited us along with some of Mrs. Dixon's special cake! We were all stuffed with food and ready to head back for a good night's rest.
Tuesday morning we woke up with the goal of making up seven shots and winning the title for the second year in a row. After eating breakfast in a full lobby of golfers, we headed to the course and prepared ourselves for a great day. The weather could not have been more perfect. The sun shined the whole day and there was hardly any wind; the golf Gods were watching over us. We all headed out in a line to our starting holes and made it around with some great numbers at the end. I shot 75 while Sathika, Alli, and Stephanie came in with 77's, and Manisa shot 80. With a Day Two total of 306 we finished the 2012 MAC Preview in fourth place. As individuals, I finished tied for third, Sathika finished tied for eighth, and Alli finished tied for 20th. Ball State became the champions by firing a two-day total of 621 followed by Bowling Green at 624 and Eastern Michigan at 625.
Although we did not reach our goal of defending our title, we had many learning experiences during this tournament. It is called the Preview for a reason. We had seen the course and the competition, and we are now fully prepared for what's to come in the spring. We understand what must be done in order to become MAC Champions, and everyone is prepared to do what they have to do to better our team.