Sunday, June 15, 2014

Viraat Badhwar reminiscing upon Prairie Dunes

Blog: NCAA Championships
Hutchinson, Kansas

The sun was setting as we left Prairie Dunes Golf Club for the last time. For the first time that week, there wasn’t any country music or lively conversation for the ride back to our hotel. As the team reminisced on what could have been, I relived the amazing experiences we had of playing the NCAA Championships.

I remembered the excitement and eagerness I had to play a Perry Maxwell for the first time as we prepared for the practice round. We started on the 2nd, an amazing 160 yards par 3 with all the features that could lend it a comparison with the 12th at Augusta National. Two deep bunkers guarded the front of the diagonal green that had more undulations than I’d ever experienced. And it only got better. The stretches of holes five, six and seven as well as eleven, twelve and thirteen were personal favorites with their extreme variation in design, length and difficulty. The rolling topography and green complexity made the course a great test of golf.

I recalled the memories of watching Cameron hit some outstanding golf shots coming down the stretch to claim the Individual Championship after a nail biting finish and then two grueling sudden death playoff holes. Amidst all the distractions late in the day, his performance was exemplary and he made the whole team proud. His individual win, complemented by David’s closing round of 65, led us to a 9 shot victory in the stroke-play. This was great momentum for the team heading into the match play as the first seed.

After a close win against Illinois in the first round of match play, we were paired with Oklahoma State in the afternoon in the semi finals. It was a close match for the whole round, with continuous shifts in momentum from one team to the other. I was one down with two holes left to play as the teams stood at two games each. Despite being unsuccessful in our attempt, those two holes were an incredible experience for me as I felt the team’s support.

As we approached the hotel, I came to realize that this was the last day of college golf for both Cameron and Patrick. As they embark on their professional golfing careers, I think they shall look on NCAA Championships, our 2013-2014 season and their years at Stanford run with a lot of pride and honor.

>> Viraat Badhwar (in Prairie Dunes action photos above) will be playing a strong summer golf schedule, starting out here:

June 16-21 - The Northeast Amateur (Wannamoisett Country Club, Rumford, Rhode Island)

June 23-30 - The Dogwood (Druid Hills Golf Club - Atlanta, Georgia)

July 1-4 - Sahalee Players (Sammamish, Washington)

July 8-13 - The Players Am (Okatie, SC)

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