Kvennalandslið Íslands hefur leik á Heimsmeistaramóti áhugamanna í dag. Mótið fer fram á Írlandi og Jussi Pitkänen afreksstjóri GSÍ er með liðinu á sínum „gamla heimavelli“. Jussi og skrifar ferðasögu frá HM – sem birtar eru hér á Hér er 3. kafli í þeirri sögu sem skrifaður var í gærkvöld. Jussi skrifar á ensku þar sem ekki gafst tími til að þýða greinina yfir á íslensku.

Our final day of preparation for WATC 2018 was a busy one, and everyone finally felt human after a really good night’s sleep. It never ceases to amaze me how we as humans react to long periods of travel and how long it takes us to recover. I know for future overseas trips I need to improve my planning to account for this better. Having seen first hand how some of the leading countries such as Australia do things, their players arrived on Friday afternoon last although after flying for 24 hours to be here! Then on the other hand, 2 of the Canadian players got here this evening just in time for the opening ceremony, directly from Palm Springs, California; with a 10 hour time difference to deal with and playing early tomorrow in the first round.

We played a practice round on the Montgomerie course this morning, which is a different type of test to the O’Meara course we experienced yesterday. Having played this course over 20 times, I was surprised by some of the tee locations on a few of the holes, given the prevailing wind direction. The first and second holes in particular will be tough with the forecasted conditions, and on the back nine. holes 11, 12, 16 will be brutal, played straight into the wind. The course itself is in immaculate condition, with little rough, perfect fairways, absolutely pure greens and bunkers so deep you would not even wish to bury your mother in law in them! You are pretty much guaranteed to lose between half and a full stroke if you go in the fairway traps and the green complexes make for some very challenging approaches and resulting up and downs, with a lot of run off areas just like some of the great links courses in the UK and Ireland. I am fascinated to see how the players navigate this test over the next few days, and my guess is that the players who keep it out of the sand will score best.

As for the ladies today, most of our support team arrived this afternoon just after our round, with Helgas mum and dad, Ragga’s mum landing at carton house just as we walked off the 18th. Saga’s dad is arriving tomorrow, so it will be great to have some friendly faces around for what is a new and potentially a little stressful occasion for the players. Following our team photo session, we had a chance to practice for a few hours at the National Academy, and get any last minute issues sorted out. Matti Lindholm, the Team Finland Captain and physio also helped the guys with some little aches and pains (no doubt this will cost me a beer at the end of the week) and we were ready for the opening ceremony.

Someone had the great idea to host an opening ceremony for 57 countries, outside, in Ireland, in September, in average weather. Lets just say that we did not hang around for any longer than needed, as pneumonia was a legitimate concern. A quick dinner and back to the accommodation to review our plan for tomorrow, last check and notes in our yardage books and green charts we are all off to bed to get some rest. Plan for tomorrow is to get up at 8am for our first breakfast, stretch, get to the course by 10, have a brunch/late breakfast and warm up before heading to the range and out to play. Also rather unusually, I will not be allowed to act as advisor to the players during the round, so it will be great to see the ladies play from a distance and observe how they react to the challenge. Eventhough this is a team event in name, it is, in my view very much an individual tournament in the end and must be treated as such – although with a common game plan. The key will be to keep the ball in play off the tee, make sensible decisions and commit to each shot until we run out of holes to play. It will not be easy but our ladies are used to toughing it out in not so ideal conditions!

Team Iceland kick off at 1158 alongside Portugal and Puerto Rico on the O’Meara course Tee 1.

Áfram Ísland, greetings from Ireland!!



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