Although the NCAA season may be over for the Santa Clara woman's golf team, but that does not mean all the action has stopped. Last week (July 23-25) senior Taylor Camany (TC) and sophomore Meghan Shain (MS) teamed up to play in the 4th annual Pure Silk Woman's Collegiate Team Championship in Powell, Ohio.
After three rounds of play and some incredible moments, the duo finished with a total score of 302, which tied the duo for 8th place overall. The Santa Clara duo played with focus and guts, constantly encouraging one another and pushing each other to do their personal bests. This was the first time either Shain or Camany had played on the Wedgewood course, so teamwork was key for the partners to succeed.
The format of the Championship was: Day 1 (July 23): Alternate Shot; Day 2 (July 24): Best Ball; and Day 3 (July 25): Aggregate Score of the two players. Teams are comprised of players from all levels of collegiate golf including Division I, II and III programs.
Both Shain and Camany went through ups and downs throughout the tournament, yet without a doubt the highlight of the tournament was the hole in one shot by Shain on the 4th hole. Some golfers go their entire career without getting a hole in one, so to have such an experience in this tournament must have been incredible.
To gain a better understanding of what the three-day tournament was like, the Santa Clara duo was kind enough to sit down and answer our questions about their experience.
SCB: You competed with your teammate Taylor Camany in the Pure Silk Woman's Collegiate Team Championship. What were your goals for the tournament?
MS: Our goal for the tournament was really just to go out and have a fun experience and represent Santa Clara well. At a tournament with so many great college players, it is very important to just focus on yourself and how you are playing. It is really all you have control over because you never know if someone is going to catch fire that day. So as long as I played well and played my game, then I sort of just have to let placing take care of itself. I feel like we did that. We struggled a bit the first day but we really pulled it together on the alternate shot and ending up in 8th, which I felt was great. Then, the second day Taylor played amazing and really carried our team and we moved to 7th place. The final day I feel like we both played great, we may have left some strokes out there but we had such a fun time and we played our hardest, and we ended up tied for 8th. For something that we don't do all the time and this being the first time we played this tournament, I felt that it was a great tournament. I am really happy with the way we performed that week. We are both very excited for next year now that we know what to expect, and we feel that we could compete for the win.
SCB: What does it mean for you to represent Santa Clara at an event like this over the summer?
MS: It was an incredible experience. We were the only team from California, so I thought that was pretty cool. Any tournament that we play in though, we always want to represent Santa Clara well, whether it is by our attitude or by our game. We want more people to take an interest, not only in Santa Clara, but also in women's golf.
TC: It was so much fun representing Santa Clara all the way in Ohio. We don't usually have that opportunity over summer so we had a great time.
SCB: Is this your first time playing in a doubles tournament outside of the SCU season?
MS: I played in a format similar to this a few years ago called the Loren Roberts cup. It was basically the same formats, so I had a little bit of experience with this type of golf before but being on a different course and having a different partner, it becomes a whole new game. We had to study each other's games and figure out who should tee off on what hole, and who should be putting or hitting approach shots. It is always a lot of fun to work with a teammate like that.
SCB: With this being your first time competing in this tournament, what was the biggest challenge with the Wedgewood course? How long does it take you to become familiar with a new course?
TC: I really liked the set-up of this golf course. It was challenging but I had a great feel for it after the practice round. They switched up a couple tee blocks during the tournament so some holes played completely different which is something we don't see very often.
SCB: What was the best part of the tournament? Any highlights?
MS: I would say the tournament in general is just the best part. The tournament was so well ran. Playing different formats on such an amazing course is just hard to beat. They aren't formats that we get to play a lot, so to have that opportunity was just great. My highlight was from the first day during alternate shot, on our 13th (hole 4 on the course), it was a par 3 and I got a hole in one. I screamed, Taylor screamed, our parents screamed. Taylor may have punched me in the chin when she ran over to give me a hug, but it was just a priceless moment.
TC: Meghan's hole in one during alternate shot was definitely one of the highlights of the tournament. We had been struggling until then and it completely changed the momentum and we played some of our best golf after that.
SCB: What does it mean to you to have your Santa Clara teammate as your partner in this tournament? Do you feel you play well together? How would you describe your relationship with Taylor?
MS: I absolutely loved playing with Taylor. Like all the girls on the team, I consider her one of my best friends, and she will actually even be my roommate. She was great at making sure I stayed positive, if we had a tough hole, she was always like "alright next hole, we got it", and she never failed to high five me for a good shot. She always gives me the little extra push I need. We really got in a good groove during the alternate shot and we just have such positive energy. The same with the second day, I was struggling a bit and she really stepped up to make sure that we had a solid round and keep encouraging me to just stay confident. I feel like I learned a lot playing and working with her on the course.
TC: Meghan and I have very different golf games so I feel that was a huge benefit to us especially in the best ball round because we each had different holes that set up best for us.