June 25, 2008
Glasgow, Scotland – Georgia Tech’s Chesson Hadley is in Glasgow, Scotland for the Palmer Cup matches, an annual Ryder Cup-style match-play competition between collegiate golfers from the United States and Europe. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition is being played at the 6,903-yard, par-71 Willie Park Junior designed Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links.
Hadley, a sophomore from Raleigh, N.C., will be reporting on his experiences before, during and after the competition, which consists of alternate-shot, best-ball and singles matches Thursday and Friday. Following is the first of these journals.
Hadley is the fifth Tech golfer to be named to the U.S. team for the Palmer Cup. He joins Matt Kuchar (1998, 1999), Bryce Molder (1998, 1999, 2001), Roberto Castro (2005, 2006) and Kevin Larsen (2006). Tech head coach Bruce Heppler coached the U.S. team in 2003.
Kevin Chappell of UCLA, Louisville’s Derek Fathauer, Rickie Fowler of Oklahoma State, San Diego State’s Aaron Goldberg, Florida’s Billy Horschel, Adam Mitchell of Georgia and Alabama’s Michael Thompson comprise Team USA. Horschel is the only returning member from last year’s victorious American team and posted a 4-0 record during the matches at Caves Valley in Towson, Md. The United States – who will be coached by Stanford’s Conrad Ray – leads the series, 6-4-1, but have lost the last two competitions in Europe.
“The flight over to Scotland was okay. I didn’t have that bad of a seat so I was at least somewhat comfortable. However, I was able to rack up an amazing 23 minutes of sleep. When I arrived it was 9 a.m. over here so I went close to 24 hours without sleeping. Needless to say I did not find it hard to fall asleep once we got to our hotel. I was up at 6:15 this morning to eat with the team, and the breakfast here is not bad but it goes down hill fast after that. There are only a couple of things on the menu that look appetizing during lunch and dinner.
“As for golf, we did get to play a practice round today. The course is AMAZING! The fairways are very narrow, so if the wind picks up, it is going to be very difficult to drive the ball well. Yesterday when we got to the place we are staying, we discovered a miniature par-3 course right behind the hotel. We played several rounds, and it was a blast.
“The weather is much different over here. We are truly spoiled in the South with great weather. It never gets above 55 degrees, and the sun rarely shines. It is always overcast and drizzling. And let’s not forget the raging winds that blow over here. Hopefully the weather will peak during our competition rounds. There will be one alternate-shot, one best ball, and two singles matches. During the alternate shot and best ball, I will be paired with one of my teammates. It is going to be a great week for golf.
“I will be posting again this week with more FASCINATING details about my Palmer Cup experience. Peace!”