Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Player's Tournament TPC - May 6th - Ponte Vedra Beach (late post)

AA and Hubby headed off to the Players Championship Tournament on Tuesday, the 6th. It is a quiet day with players all practicing. She took a photo of her Coach Doug (who passed on April 9th) for autographs rather than a ball cap.

The autographs included Tim Finchem, Commissioner of the PGA,  K. J. Choi, Jordan Spieth, Andres Romero and Ben Crane. She also met Jack Aschenbach (President of Northern Chapter, Florida PGA), which has a long story about that meeting - read below, at the end of this post!
Met up with the Forte Family.
Watched players, ate BBQ and enjoyed a perfect day!
Bubba Watson being interviewed:
Drinking lots of water, a hot, sunny day:
There is a story that unfolded near the beginning of their day. As they entered the golf course, they saw an area set up with four or five golf professionals with people swinging clubs. Hubby and AA decided to wait in line to see what was going on. While in line, chatted with local U.S. Kids family, the Flemings. As they waited, they saw each fan/guest select a club, then take a turn at hitting golf balls into a net a few times; Ford thought they were allowing everyone to take a few swings and move on. Alyzabeth selected a kids driver, closest to her size (it was longer than what she was used to). 
When their turn came, the next available professional called them over to his area. He looked at Ford expectantly and Ford pointed to AA as she had the club. He said, "Oh, okay young lady, take a few practice swings". So she took some practice swings and the man stood up straight and watched, raised an eye brow and exclaimed "Whoa". Yep, she plays. He saw her U.S. Kids golf cap. 
Then he asked who AA's coach was. Ford answered Doug Cody at River Bend. The man slowly looked at Ford. And then the recognition. Looking back to Alyzabeth he said, "This is Alyzabeth, I was at Doug's funeral". Yep, he knew Doug. He was at the funeral and heard all that was said there. 
Once again, not by chance. Nothing to do with Doug has been a coincidence. That Doug said God told him to teach AA; that this man was now giving tips to AA and knew Doug very well.
He asked AA to hit more balls; he held her shoulders and showed her how to finish the swing with her shoulders. Then he had her hit about half dozen more times.
He told Ford, she's ready for the junior golf league. He gave Ford his card and said he would love to have her play on the North Florida Juniors Golf Tour (he was Jack Aschenbach, President of the NF PGA Chapter and Director for the North Florida Junior Golf Foundation)
Funny, that just that morning, Ford had sent an email to that very organization to see about AA playing in that league, even though she didn't meet the minimum age. Jack said, "We make exceptions". 
Coincidence? That Ford and AA stepped up to the first available spot and it was a friend of Doug's? 
And then we grieve all over again, for what we miss so very much.

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