Alex Williams is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Army golf team and will be providing blog entries as the Black Knights compete at the NCAA Arizona Regionals. Williams played for Oregon State for four seasons and was a two-time captain before earning his degree in History and joining the Army staff. Army opens the 54-hole, 14-team regional Thursday morning.
May 18, 2011
Travel days are always the longest. No matter how far we are travelling, be it a two-hour drive to Philadelphia or a five-hour plane ride to Tucson, Ariz., the travel day is always the longest. As much as it is the actual travel that makes it long, it is usually the anticipation that makes these days so long. With so much down time, your mind wanders and dreams, anticipation begins.
We knew it was going to take ten hours to arrive in Phoenix, but with the anticipation, everything seemed to go in slow motion. The two hour bus ride to JFK through a monsoon was endless, there weren't enough crossword puzzles or songs on our iPODs for the five and half hour plane flight. Waiting in every line at the airport, our minds were churning, waiting patiently to the outside observer while inside we were screaming, "YOUR MACHINE ISN'T BROKEN YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO KEEP ME FROM GETTING TO ARIZONA, I NEED SUNSHINE AND 'In and Out Burger.' SO MOVE."
And as 99 percent of trips do, we arrived safe and sound in Phoenix, in the same ten hours as we planned. We walked off the plane drooling with excitement (part of that drool was for In and Out Burger, part was to play some golf in the sunshine). Coach Watts only magnified this by taking the guys to the Arizona State Karsten Golf Course before driving to Tucson. This was coach and my regional site in 2007 when I was playing for him at Oregon State, and we enjoyed telling stories and heart breaks to the guys. We reminisced about our "what ifs" and our "the pin was here " stories. It was the right place to prepare for another regional week and the guys got their first test of the desert air.
Finally, after golf we completed our mission – In and Out Burger. It was treat after a day that tested our patience and so was the drive to Tucson. We drove under a harvest moon, blazing red and slowly rising. It was our gift after such a patience-testing day.
May 16, 2011