非常開心總教練特別飛到英國來看我人生第三次的大滿貫賽, 並且每天賽後拖著疲憊的身子仍不忘記錄每天的故事, 在這裡分享給大家.
總教練大學的主修是英語文學, 他的記錄讓人親臨現場, 也很容易感受到教練真實的感受, enjoy !
I write your from a hotel in Liverpool on the eve of The Open Championship where Cheng-Tsung Pan will be competing clad in all his Husky glory. Tomorrow at 12:54 Hoylake time (3:54 AM on West Coast of US) he will tee it up with Graham DeLaet and Brant Snedeker at Royal Liverpool.
I’m writing a daily blog that we will send you. It will also be posted on www.GoHuskies.com. Let me know if you have any questions or things you would like me to write about. I’ll also be posting a decent amount from my Twitter account. Go Pan!!
The Day Before
Pan had already played a couple of practice rounds before this last one today. He said it feels like he’s been here a long time and he is ready to play.
Yesterday he played at 12:50 and today at 7:40. Those are his tee times for the tournament so he wanted to match his practice rounds to simulate the schedule and conditions.
A few special badges are given to each player for family and/or coaches that get them on the course on practice days so I was inside the ropes walking the course with Pan today. I’ve done many more cool things in this job than I probably deserve and I realize I’m beyond spoiled because of it, but today was a day that it hit me, “I’m walking the course with one of my players at the British Open the day before it starts.” I walked the greens and fairways and saw the course and competition set up from a perspective very few people will ever experience. As a kid I imagined doing that as a player, but it’s just as satisfying to do it as a coach.
Pan likes the course. He’ll hit some drivers for sure, but the penalizing rough and fairway bunkers will make everyone very careful off the tee. With ever-changing winds, mostly blind or semi-blind tee shots, and many lurking hazards, tee shots are treated with the care of shots into well-guarded greens. The greens are small and firm and the deep bunkers make for a difficult up and down so missing in the proper area will be crucial. Pan is a smart player and is excellent around the greens so I think you can expect a high up and down percentage from him this week. That will be key.
Everywhere you turn there is a champion player who has won many events and made many millions. Pan doesn’t seem to notice. In fact, he looks like one of them. Except for the Washington-logoed carry bag and the absence of large corporate logos on his clothes (he will be in UW gear every day) he looks like he completely belongs. He does.
This is Pan’s third major. He’s played in two US Opens already. He is here to compete and contend and he can.
I’m just here to support Pan and offer any help needed. So my main job is to stay out of the way and let Pan do his thing. As we rode to the course (about a 30 min drive from Liverpool) I wondered what Pan must be thinking about. I was nervous and I’m sure he was too. We talked a little and laughed a little, but Pan was pretty serious and in his own bubble. That’s a good thing.
Pan made plenty of good shots early, but didn’t quite find his full rhythm until his back nine. He found a fairway bunker on Hole 4 which cost a shot and then his drive that was barely off the fairway on Hole 7 ended in a bush en route to a double bogey. So he was at +3 thru Hole 7. His worst iron shot of the day came on the second shot into Hole 11, but then he worked some magic, holing a pitch shot from about 35 yards for birdie. Another birdie in front of a large crowd came on Hole 14, followed by a plugged lie bogey on 15. He parred in for 74 (+2) and sits in 84th Place. Thirteen pars, two birdies, two bogeys, and one double bogey.
I’m sure the media is talking on tv about the ideal scoring conditions. The conditions certainly were that this morning when most of the low scores came in, but this afternoon was different. Although it was sunny and hot, the wind picked up considerably and shooting a low score became a significant challenge. Pan’s afternoon round of 74 was hard-fought, especially considering being +3 thru Hole 7. One-under on that back nine is excellent.
The crowd and atmosphere were special out there. The holes are close together with no trees or big hills separating them so you hear lots of clapping all the time from all over the course. When these fans clap they really clap. It comes loudly and often. What you don’t hear are spectators shouting. It’s mostly just lots of respectful clapping. Pan hit many excellent iron shots to earn the applause.
He had an ideal group. Both Graham Delaet and Brant Snedeker were nice guys. I actually heard Graham ask Pan about Dan Potter as they walked off the Second tee. Graham went to Boise St. and still lives there and he was anxious to learn about his program’s new coach. Delaet was very steady all day, finishing with 71 and Snedeker was more of a potluck with a little something different and unpredictable on every hole.
Pan looked great out there in his purple pin-striped pants, white Husky shirt and shoes, and white Husky hat. I can’t say there was a huge Husky contingent on site, but we certainly felt many of you following at home. We did have two of our Husky Golf Foundation members following: Steve Sander and Michael Crowson. Awesome fans.
I’ve said this before but I’m always struck by the same thing when I see Pan on the big stage–he looks so much bigger than his 5’7″ stature would suggest. He has such great confidence, presence, and comfort with himself. That makes him seem large. He is beyond his years competitively and it shows in his poise and decision-making.
Tomorrow we have big winds expected in the morning, lessening in the afternoon. Pan tees off at 7:50 AM. The unpredictable weather makes talk and thoughts about “The Cut” a complete waste of time. Pan plans to just go out there and play well and let that take care of itself. While sitting a table full of authentic Chinese food tonight he said, “I just want to shoot under par.”
While most were going to bed back home, the Pan Clan was waking up in Liverpool for the 2nd Round of the Open Championship. Our courtesy car left the hotel at 5:30 AM. The drive to the course is about 20-30 minutes. College golf prepares us well for these types of early starts. Pan was noticeably more relaxed this morning on the way to the course and before the round. He started with a great birdie on Hole 1.
Hole 4 is one of the shorter holes, but it proved tough as he made double-bogey today and bogey yesterday. He followed with a birdie on Hole 5 and the tone was set for what turned out to be a seesaw round. Both his good momentum and bad momentum were ended quickly, following his birdies with bogeys and bogeys with birdies. Bogeys came on 8, 11, 13 and birdies came on 1, 5, 10, 15.
For those of us watching on the sidelines, even early in the day we could see that +2 looked to surely make the cut and +3 had a good chance. When Pan bogeyed Hole 13 to go to +5 the prospects started to look bleak. He narrowly missed a birdie on 14 then stuffed a towering iron shot and made birdie on the Par three Hole 15. Often 16 and 18 are birdie holes but they played into the wind this morning. Pan played them well, but just missed 15 ft putts on both, coming up a wee bit shy of playing the weekend.
Pros constantly fret about “the draw” in these events. Each player gets a morning and afternoon round on the first two days and sometimes the weather conditions can be very different depending on when you play. Pan won’t say this, but the draw turned out to be a huge factor this year and Pan’s draw (and the half of the field with a similar draw) had it far worse in both rounds. It was at least a few shots tougher for those that played afternoon/morning compared to those that played morning/afternoon. Luck will always be a huge factor in this game and we all accept that as part of what we love about it.
All the players here are excellent and the margin of error is so small to make the cut and contend for the title. Pan really played well and gave himself a chance to be in the hunt. He was steady off the tee and into the greens and his chipping and putting also held up well. He felt his local caddie was a big help in having a good course strategy.
All Huskies can be very proud of him. He most definitely belongs out here and he looked great in his Husky purple walking these historic links. He represented. His game is suited well for these major championships. He is accurate, smart, tough, and has excellent short game skills around the green. Most importantly, he loves the pressure and plays his best when his best is most needed. He made us proud this week and I suspect that he will make us proud many times over in future Open Championships and other major golf events.
What a great experience for him and for me at this year’s Open Championship!