Aron Snær Júlíusson (GKG), Bjarki Pétursson (GKB) og Gísli Sveinbergsson (GK) hefja leik á morgun á Heimsmeistaramóti áhugakylfinga í karlaflokki sem fram fer á Írlandi. Jussi Pitkänen, afreksstjóri GSÍ, er liðsstjóri. Jussi ætlar að halda áfram að skrifa ferðasögur frá Eisenhower Trophy – en það er nafnið á verðlaunagripnum sem keppt er um á þessu móti.
“Greetings again from Carton House, we are into another tournament week with our men this week at the Eisenhower Trophy. Gisli and Bjarki arrived on Sunday morning on an overnight flight from Cleveland, Ohio and I was there to meet the guys having dropped Ragga off for her early flight to Newark. As soon as the arrivals hall doors opened, it was back to business for me, and marked the start of the tournament. I brought the guys back to Maynooth University Athlete Village, which we affectionately refer to as ‘The Prison’ for a few hours rest and went to pick up Aron from the Reykjavik flight. An easy morning, followed by the usual business of registration, filling out forms, and making sure all the boxes were ticked for us to participate. There are 72 countries playing this week, including Iraq and Moldova. Walking the range on Sunday it felt like the ‘who is who’ of amateur golf, with nearly all of the top players in the world present to play for their countries. Some of these guys will be world beaters in the pro game in years to come; players like Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith played just 4 years ago in Japan!
As for the courses, I know them pretty well at this stage, however I have had to completely readjust how I look at things this week compared to with the ladies. Every tee is different, meaning new driving lines, landing areas and club selections into greens. For example yesterday we played the Montgomerie Course, and on hole 4 we had to consider a fairway bunker at 402 yards off the tee with the tailwind helping. Bjarki managed to reduce the 605 yard hole to a 379 yard drive and 240 yard 5 iron. Jude O’Reilly was with us again to help us prepare for the challenges of the course, and he had some very interesting insight into how to place the ball around the course to avoid making big numbers. For example on hole 5 (par four), which plays nearly the same length into the wind as the previously mentioned monster par 5, we settled on a strategy of giving ourselves a par opportunity from 10-15 feet. This means trying to avoid the hellish bunkers from the tee, and managing the second shot carefully near the green. Playing this hole with a 4.5 average or better this week will give us an advantage on the field.
Haukur is with us this week and yesterday had to manage a minefield of meetings and looking out at the sunshine instead of being able to enjoy it with us. Today we have a morning session on the putting green, followed by team photo, lunch, range session, practice round on O’Meara and straight into the opening ceremony. The plan of attack tonight is to leave as soon as possible for dinner as having learned from last week, there is nothing on offer at the opening reception except small talk. Aron has been appointed Director of Culinary this week so we are eagerly awaiting his suggestion after letting us down badly yesterday!”