Road Hole Shorts

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Guest commentary: Tiger’s unusual fall; future bright for Aggies

By Mary Armstrong/For the Sun-News

Posted: 10/13/2011 09:05:25 PM MDT


At this past weekend’s tournament, as Tiger Woods lined up a birdie putt, someone threw a hot dog at him.

The thrower missed and so did Tiger – the birdie putt that is.

Fan’s have been known to throw all sorts of things – batteries, empty beer bottles, dirty diapers uh scratch that last one, at least as far as I know.

But seriously, rarely does a fan throw something that is edible. The last time I remember something edible being thrown was an early spring game at Fenway Park when a fan muffed a foul ball and someone a couple of rows back threw a huge slice of pizza at him. But, I digress.

Tiger did finish with a 68, putting him into the middle of the pack. Now you know, and I know, that isn’t Tigeresque. He knows that’s not Tigeresque, but he needs to re-boot. Tiger may never be the dominating force he was. I doubt he will. I truly wish he and his entourage would just face it – as Yogi Berra said, “90 percent of the game is half mental.” Well, you get the picture. We (including Tiger) are expecting too much from him. Now, I know I’m not golf’s mental coach in this town, but I’ll bet the Golf Doctor would agree that expectations are the makings of double bogeys.

While Tiger did make a nice step toward being confident, I don’t think it’s enough. He won’t be playing again in a stroke play tournament until after the Presidents Cup. Tiger has been known as a match play maven and the “good vibes” from his US Amateur days may not be all that tarnished by a few so-so Ryder Cup performances. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him paired with Jim Furyk again as they played well together in 2006 event. If he can perform well in the singles match, that could provide some real fire in sparking his comeback.

NMSU women’s golf team

I regret not being able to share more insight into the Aggies golf teams – both men’s and women’s.

I occasionally see Paul Brilliant and Jackie Booth at the NMSU golf course, but I must admit some reluctance because I don’t think of myself as a reporter and I don’t think I’m a good interviewer. This time though, I’m forcing myself.

Last year, the Aggies won this week’s Price’s “Give ’em Five” Intercollegiate at NMSU Golf Course. It was the Aggies first win of their home tournament since 2006. The 2011 edition of the Aggies will have to keep improving to match last year’s win as seniors Pang Chanachai, Buz Bowerman-Ritchie and Mint Swaschuto have moved on. However, Demi Mak from Hong Kong, who led the Aggies with a 2 under par three round total last year is returning as just a sophomore and sole senior Ashley Elias, of El Paso, continues to progress.

This year’s team is heavy on sophomores. Besides Mak, the Aggies have Amelie Buhl of Germany, Estefania Buritica of Columbia, Mieke Canan from Welton, Ariz., and Lindsay Reeve from Redmond, Ore. Juniors are Marisa Bautista of Las Cruces and Aileen Meredith of Samoa. Cheryl Lo is a red-shirt Junior from Malaysia, and Laura Barron of El Paso is the team’s loan freshman this year. The future looks bright over the next few years. When asked about the diverse cultures on his team Co-Head Coach Paul Brilliant said, “Yeah its fun. It’s kind of neat to see how the personalities match up. Because the fall season is close to the start of the school year, and our student athletes are such good students we’ve had a tough time getting in the coaching time they need. I expect us to be quite a lot better in the Spring.”

The Aggies finished seventh in the Price’s “Give ’em Five” 2011 edition and none performed well enough to be in the top 20 individually, but Coach Brilliant was upbeat.

“We only had one returning starter from last year’s winning team, and we had three sophomores out there,” Brilliant said. “We are working hard though and it really only takes one less putt here and one less chip there to make the improvement we are looking for.”

“I expected Baylor to win this year,” Brilliant said. “They finished 2nd to us last year and I think they only lost one or two players from the squad.”

Baylor led the field of 15 with three day 860 total. They bested the University of Idaho by a single stroke and UI and BU players Kayla Montellano and Jaclyn Jansen tied for medalist honors with three round totals of 211, or five under par on the challenging NMSU Golf Course.

“We are academically excellent. We have a fine bunch of student athletes,” Brilliant said when asked what he’s most proud of. “We were recently recognized by the President of the NCAA as being in the top ten percent programs nationwide with a 3.6 GPA. We have young women here that may progress to the LPGA, but more importantly, we students that will excel in their careers after school if they don’t go on to be professional golfers.”

— By the way, my favorite Yogi quote: “Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?” -Carmen Berra, Yogi’s wife.

“Surprise me.” – Yogi


A golf architect in New Hampshire for over 20 years, Armstrong brought her craft to Las Cruces in January 2010. She is the founder of Armstrong Golf Architects, which provides planning, designing, permitting and construction monitoring services for golf course projects. You can comment on her writing and view past articles at her blog:




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