TALLAHASSEE, FL (Apr. 7) – The expected thunderstorms in Tallahassee over the past weekend wreaked havoc on what was to be the FAMU Spring Golf Invitational. Weather forecasts predicted rain with lightning for most of the weekend. The last place you would want to be is in a lightning storm on a golf course waving metal clubs.
While most teams dropped out, Savannah State coach Art Gelow decided to bring down his team. FAMU head coach Mike Rice reorganized the competition into a match play event between the two schools.
“We appreciate Coach Gelow and Savannah State for coming down to participate in the match play event. It was a really good experience for the guys in that we don’t normally play match play. With MEAC coming up, it allows us to stay sharp going into the tournament in 10 days. It was a great experience for our guys and we were fortunate to come out ahead,” Rice said.
The tournament weaved through the rainy Saturday and beautiful Sunday. The teams set out on the pristine Southwood Golf Course layout on Saturday morning before the weather turned. The last golf group played a few of their concluding holes in rain. Sunday was overcast to start, but cleared nicely for a great finish.
Cameron Riley lauded the opportunity to play the weekend. “The course was playing very tough yesterday. I was glad I was able to keep the ball in play, minimize my mistakes and be able to come out on top in my match. It’s time to put in more hard work before MEAC. Put in the reps so when it becomes game time I’ll be ready to go,” said Riley. He won his matches on both days of the tournament.
With the groups playing match play and the threat of weather, carts were used to speed up play. It was a big factor in getting in the matches on Saturday. In most collegiate tournaments, players take the traditional stroll around the course, but riding was a true benefit in getting this tune-up in before going up to Savannah, Ga., who hosts the MEAC golf tournament.
“We got a lot of young guys and we’re just trying to get better. The first day we played really well, we won all five matches, which was great as the guys played extremely well. Today, we didn’t play quite as well, but were still able to come out ahead. It was a great experience for the guys to be able to play in this kind of format, which is completely different from anything we play in all year. I think the experience will motivate us going into MEAC. Saturday wasn’t looking good. We kept looking at the radar and we ended up in the middle of it. It went around us somehow, north and south of us. We were fortunate to get it in. The last group got caught in the rain, but overall we got lucky,” Rice said.
Two members of the FAMU golf team get golf internships
“I got the internship with the USGA and got a merchandising-type internship which will allow me to go to the U.S. Open. Going to the U.S. Open is something I wanted to since I started playing golf. I wanted to go as a player, but since I don’t have that opportunity, I do have the opportunity to assist with the U.S. Open,” Killette said. The U.S. Open will be played in Shinnecock Hills, NY in June.
Riley will have a different type of internship. He will be interning with the LPGA in Daytona Beach, Fla. “I will be interning as a teaching and club professional intern. I will be assisting the club professionals with the golf course and instruction,” Riley said.