This morning we teed off at 9 a.m. from the 10th tee for our practice round with Oklahoma State alum Caroline Hedwall, and Solheim Cup players Laura Diaz, and Brittany Lang. It was a great group to play with and Laura's caddie, Thad Kael, was someone I met when I caddied in Europe, so it was great to catch up with him. Caroline Hedwall and Brittany Lang are both pretty long off the tee and Casie kept up with them all day long.
She put on an iron exhibition through the entire back nine as they typically put the hole locations in the practice rounds on slopes and tiers where they won't put them in the tournament rounds and Casie was still able to stop iron shots next to the pins. It was obvious that the USGA put some water on the golf course because the tee balls weren't releasing as much, but it made sense because the Heat Index was 92 degrees today and they don't want to burn the course out ... yet. Despite the hilly terrain, I'm holding up pretty well, partly because of the double strap on the bag, and partly because I rode my bike and walked a ton this entire last month to prepare for the tournament.
There were plenty of spectators out there today and Casie was asked to sign a bunch of autographs between the green and the next tee box. On one of the holes on the front nine we realized that this really cute 4-year-old and her dad were following us around. So on the ninth hole Casie went over and asked her father if they would like to walk the last hole with her between the ropes. They got a great picture together on the tee box and then Casie brought her up onto the green and let her make a putt. All the volunteers and spectators sitting in the grandstands clapped when she made the short putt, so Casie definitely made a couple new fans so far this week.
We ended up hitting balls after having lunch and Paula Creamer put on a Junior Clinic at the range with the help of NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer. He walked by me and was surprisingly skinny with very thin white legs, so he's definitely spent more time behind the anchor desk than on the golf course. I asked one of the regular Sebonack caddies if he was a member and they said that he's been one for the last couple years. I've heard numbers thrown around like $600,000 up to $1,000,000 to join, so that let's you know the quality of this golf course.
Tomorrow we are playing only 9 holes in the morning, working on short game in the afternoon and resting before we go off at 1:03 p.m. Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the U.S. Open.