TRINITY – It’s one thing to experience the pressure of representing your country. It’s an entirely different thing to be representing an entire tournament.
That’s what Texas A&M sophomore and Canadian golf team member Maddie Szyerk was up against after being named Olympia Camper of the Day at The Spirit International held at Whispering Pines.
The tournament which comprises of some of the best amateur golfers from 20 countries has a summer camp-type atmosphere and at the end of the day selects a camper of the day.
“I was not expecting it at all. I was a little embarrassed [standing in front of everyone in the cafeteria],” Szeryk said. “I was worried I was going to have to do the chant and then have to give a speech because the other [camper of the day] did so I’m thinking, aw I just have to go. I just knew the O part, where everyone puts their arms in a circle [for the letter O, which represents Camp Olympia] and then they go into the song, which I don’t know the words.
Szeryk tried to escape being on center stage once, but was pulled back by the director.
On the course, where Szyerk feels much more at ease, she had two birdies and 15 pars in the best ball completion.
“I drove the ball pretty well again, a couple of iron shots not great, but overall it was solid day not a great,” Szeryk said. “Hopefully [Wednesday, the final round of three] I can finish well for my team.”
The team competition hasn’t gone well for the Canadians, who are in 18th place. It hasn’t deterred from Szeryk’s experience at Whispering Pines, which has been voted the best course in Texas by the Dallas Morning News.
“Definitely deserving [off the honor]. It’s a great course,” Szeryk said. “It’s beautiful and it’s challenging and shots have to be thought out. I’ve seen a couple of alligators, the big one on No. 5 and then a little one on 16 today, crossing over the bridge.”
Aggie golfer and Spaniard Adria Arnaus, wasn’t in top form on Tuesday, but he and Victor Pastor still managed to shoot a 5-under 67 and are in fourth place in the men’s division and sixth overall with the combined score of the women and men after the second off three rounds.
“We didn’t play our best golf, but somehow we managed to get some birdies out there and basically have one guy with ball in play,” Arnaus said “Fortunately, we played pretty good with the one who was playing. It was fun but we are looking for more [Wednesday]. “We have handled the pressure with just one but it’s totally right, you want to have two people with the opportunity because that is stress free and then no one gets in trouble.”
Arnaus,, starting on No. 10, didn’t record a birdie until the 16th, the second of two straight par 3s. He finished with four birdies.
Spain is eight strokes back of the United States and Mexico overall and the men are , seven back of the U.S., but only four behind second-place Australia.
“This is like a boys and girls thing and today the girls didn’t play their best so hopefully tomorrow they will and hopefully tomorrow we can make a challenge,” Arnaus said. “I think it’s [a long shot] but we don’t know.”
Arnaus really got started on the 470-yard par 4 18th, getting up and down for a par. He putted from hole high and about 15 feet off the green and made a 5-footer for the par on the undulated green, where many a putt got away from the golfers.