Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Junior players dare to dream of Augusta National next April 2016 - Jacksonville.com

Article in the local Jacksonville Times-Union Newspaper - AA qualified for the Drive, Chip and Putt Regional on September 12, 2015.
By Garry Smits - Sat, 29 Aug 2015, 04:59 PM
Tucker Meyer was banking on all the mojo he could get. The Evans, Ga., native, who lives just a few miles north of the Augusta National Golf Club, wore a Masters Tournament shirt and hat on Saturday as he attempted to take one step closer to the Drive, Chip and Putt National Championship during a sub-regional at the World Golf Village Slammer & Squire Course.
Not taking chances, his father, Paul Meyer, also was decked out in Masters clothing.
Meyer has taken his son to the Masters 10 times, every year since he was 5 years old. It will be different hitting shots on Augusta National instead of walking it, as he will find out if he can win the 14-15 age group at a regional qualifier Sept. 12 at the TPC Sawgrass.
“It would be like a dream,” Tucker Meyer said, after winning his age group at the Hall of Fame, thanks in large part to a chip he holed during one of three attempts from 30 feet.
It’s that dream -- hitting shots at Augusta National -- that was the prime motivation for 120 kids between 7-15 years old who were competing in four age groups for both boys and girls. The top two in the 7-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-15 age groups will be at the home of The Players in two weeks for the final chance to get to Augusta for the national finals on April 3, 2016, four days before the first round of the Masters Tournament.
“I like the opportunity to go onto something bigger,” said Amelia Williams of Gainesville, who finished second in the girls 12-13 age group.
And does it get any bigger than Augusta National?
“No,” she said. “That will be the best if I can make it.”
“All I want to do is hit a shot off No. 1,” said Lisa Colee of Deland, the girls 12-13 winner, of the iconic start to Augusta National.
It only gets tougher at the TPC Sawgrass and nine other regional qualifiers around the country. Instead of needing to finish in the top two to advance, only the winner in each division will get to Augusta, for a total of 80 juniors who will play for the national championship.
“It’s much harder with each step,” said Steve Morris, director of tournament operations for the North Florida Section of the PGA, who operated the local and sub-regional qualifiers. “When you get to the regionals, you can’t miss a shot. The kids at that level are that good.”
The skills tests are simple:
■ In the driving portion, each player gets three attempts. They get one point for 25 yards, one for 50, one for 75 and one for 100. After that one point is awarded for each 10 yards, to a max of 300 yards. All of the drives are required to be within a 50-yard grid.
■ Players get three chips from 15 yards, with points awarded the closer the ball comes to rest to the hole. Twenty-five points are awarded for a hole-out.
■ Players attempt putts from 6, 15 and 30 feet. Like the chipping, points are given for coming closer to the hole.
Morris said that after running 12 qualifiers this summer, he can see an overall improvement in two of the three skills, chipping and putting.
“I think they’re coming into these competitions sharper all the time around the greens,” he said. “They’ve taken this to heart and understand that just like in actual golf, two-thirds, if not more, is about the short game. They also understand that chipping might be the most important part. The good players can all drive and putting. Chipping is what wins this at each level.”
Morris wasn’t wrong about the Hall of Fame sub-regional. Six of the eight division winners were either first or second in chipping and five were first or second in putting. Only three division winners finished among the top-two in driving.
Nolan Harper of St. Augustine, playing in the boys 10-11 division, was a great example. He tied for 10th in driving, but holed one putt and lagged two to less than 1 foot; then hit all three of his chips to within 2 feet or less of the hole.
Other area qualifiers were Andrew Davis of Fleming Island, who finished second to Harper; and Alyzabeth Morgan, who finished second in the girls 7-9 divisions. Harper, Davis and Morgan will be attempting to become the first First Coast juniors to reach the national finals.
“It’s a tremendous experience for a kid,” Morris said. “The club treats them like kings and queens.”
Garry Smits: (904) 359-4362
Qualifiers for regional, Sept. 12, at TPC Sawgrass
7-9: 1. Maggie Portash, Eustis; 2. Alyzabeth Morgan, Orange Park.
10-11: 1. Mariane Johnson, Gulf Breeze; 2. Alexandra Gazzoli, Palm Coast.
12-13: 1. Lisa Colee, DeLand; 2. Amelia Williams, Gainesville.
14-15: 1. Lauren Miller, Niceville; 2. Mary Elise Schultz, Pace.
7-9: 1. Emory Ezzell, Gainesville; 2. Taylor Galavis, Gainesville.
10-11: 1. Nolan Harper, St. Augustine; 2. Andrew Davis, Fleming Island.
12-13: 1. Michael Wu, Gainesville; 2. Nicholas Gabrecik, Trinity.
14-15: 1. Tucker Meyer, Evans, Ga.; 2. Johnny Wright, Orlando.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

U.S. Kids Golf Jacksonville Summer Tour Championship 08/30/2015

Alyzabeth held on today with a solid round (rainy and SLOW greens!) to finish second in the local tournament; and she finished first place/tour champion for the U.S. Kids Golf Summer 2015 Jacksonville Championship! Our amazing golfer - she plays like a girl - try to keep up with her!

The rain came and went; then came again. Overall, nice golfing weather, not HOT sun and heat; overcast but warm. We were in a threesome with Alexa F. and Olivia M. with her Caddie Kathy Nyman of Rain Girl Golf Inc fame.
Olivia chipped in for an eagle; very exciting!
AA had one bad hole that she was in birdie position then four-putted! So frustrating when that happens; the greens were very wet and the ball never seemed to travel the right distance no matter what she did (she had two stop right on the lip of the cup). Most all her drives and fairways swings were great today! The local tournament was won by Bryn with a 38; AA in second with a 40. And, yes, her size is a bit different than the rest....
All the 8 - 9 year old girls today (one was a no show/withdrawal):
The summer winners - AA the Tour Champion! She played in 6 of the 8 tournaments which was enough to keep her lead.
All top five for the summer tour: AA, Bryn, Coco, Alexa and Olivia
AA with Tiffany C. - she takes lessons from Coach Jason too:
Local Fleming Island golfer Tyler M.
The new hardware to add to her collection!
 All the summer series are over; now to decide what tournaments we will play this Fall.....

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sub-Regional Drive Chip Putt Contest - World Golf Village

AA participated in the local drive chip and putt (DCP) contest about a month ago and moved to the sub-regional. Last year she made it to the sub-regional also, but didn't qualify for the regional (she placed third; the top two move to the Regional). This year, AA placed second, so she does qualify for the regional. Good news is that it is near us, at the Sawgrass Golf Club (TPC). We were surprised considering her score, so now very excited to go to the next level. All the sub-regional top two winners from SE USA will be competing at the Sawgrass DCP Regional. 

Her tee time was first - 8:00 a.m.; so an early start for practice.
You can see how far away I stand so that I am not part of the distractions:
Chipping (she did a little better than last time; still left two of the three long and off target):
Putting is her strength:

She earned a 2nd place tie for over all drives; 1st place overall for her putting and total points for second (2nd) place. Top two go to the regionals! Yahoo!
 Putting medalists:
Overall top three:
The new regional contestants:
Great job AA!
Now to get some breakfast/brunch at our Orange Park Metro Diner!!

How Our Garden Grows - Okra

Back in June we cleaned up our little patio yard and planted a few edible items in planter pots. One was okra. We were amazed how fast the plants grew and when we returned from our summer trip, thought that we had okra plant "duds"! No okra! Fast forward just two more weeks and we have okra! One pot has one pod and the other pot has many little ones just emerging. AA loves okra, so next is to decide how to cook them or pickle them. Our garden is growing!

The smallest plant (below) has the one okra pod on it. Now to decide when to pick it!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Seven Habits for Happy Kids

There are several versions of this being used. You may want to search for your favorite/go to the source to read or download. Here's one from an Academy that is a little different.

This is part of our parenting with youngest AA!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Green Bananas - No More

We love our little home along with our newly installed paver side yard. There were a few little banana trees in the yard and one actually grew bananas this summer. We have had many afternoon thunderstorms with gusty winds and one finally undid our tree! It snapped in half from the weight of the bananas, so we have a bunch of very hard, green bananas. After searching the internet, found what sounded like the best way to eat them; frying like french fries!
So we did this Saturday night while Carolyn was visiting for dinner; and they were delicious! A little salt and they were perfect! No banana flavor either!
Instructions from allrecipies: 
"Peel the bananas using a knife, as they are not ripe and will not peel like a yellow banana. Slice into long thin wedges or strings to make fries. Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. If you have a deep-fryer, heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place the banana fries into the hot oil, and fry until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oil, and drain on paper towels. Pat off the excess oil, and season with salt. Serve immediately." 
This photo was from June, when the bananas were very small:

The broken banana tree:
The bananas were resting on the ground in front of the bird bath:
In the kitchen sink; they had a very sticky sap that invited tons of ants!
In the frying oil - delicious (reminded us of yucca fries):
We were sorry not to have ripe bananas in a couple of months, but this turned out almost as good!

Monday, August 24, 2015

U.S. Kids Golf - Local at Jacksonville Beach Golf Course 08/23/15

The next to last tournament for the local summer tour is in the books! Another second place - was close - only by one stroke! There were eight girls, two from Orlando.
Alyzabeth played a good round with Parker Jules (caddied for the first time by her sister!) and Ava Grall. It was a very HOT day again, a light breeze; I was hoping for rain!
AA really only had one bad hole - a Par 3 that she was on the green in one stroke (her drive) then 3 putted - so bad!! Oh well, doesn't happen very often! Afterwards, AA, Tiffany and Coco had some fun playing outside; we couldn't believe it - so hot!
Hole #10 (played the back nine which had three water holes; two she laid up and one she avoided by playing far left):

 Played this hole to the left to get past carrying the water!

Hole #18:
Round completed!
Trying to get Olivia M. to smile (yellow medal):
 The Top Three - Tiffany, Coco and AA!
 Only the Championship Tournament is left!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Food and Friends - More from Mid-August

AA played nine holes with local Fleming Island resident, Tyler Mawhinney; he was one of the golfers highlighted in the same Clay Today article this past weekend (and he played in the 7-year boys Worlds at Pinehurst). Another HOT summer afternoon (Friday, 08/21/15):

Still loving her Ray Bans!
New golf shoes, I keep ordering a size or two up so that when she needs them, we are ready! The Dawgs brand is great for kids with the smaller shoe sizes.
New recipes - I am still working through the Rachael Ray magazine article on 5-Ingrediant meals. This one is the pork and pineapple kabobs. Carolyn was here for dinner so she got to try them too. We thought they were very good!
Slicing/julienne sugar snap peas was too much work!
Also tried this roasted tomato tart using a store bought pie crust; it was tasty but not good enough to do again. I liked making the peach galette in Pinehurst; great as a sweet treat.
The garlic that grew in Terri and George's garden survived the trip to Florida and dried nicely; now to use; we love garlic!
I think we are caught up with August Blog Posts!