Saturday, June 7, 2014

North Carolina Amateur Week - Day 6

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Saturday, June 7th and it was moving day at the Carolinas Golf Association's 54th North Carolina Amateur Championship!  This morning's course tour was met with slightly warmer temperatures (72 F), mainly due to some overcast conditions but there was some breeze.  After two days of hearing about how the course was yielding so many low scores, the guys and I were excited because we had a feeling today the course would provide a more stern test.  

We hit the course precisely at 5:30 am for morning setup.  Just like the past three mornings, greens were mowed and rolled (soil moisture readings gathered and water applied by hand where necessary), dew removed from fairways, teeing grounds walk mowed, bunkers smoothed and hand raked, etc.  This morning during setup I tweeted about the setup on the short par 4 14th.  
Me and my thumbs, that should have read 280, but I believe you get the idea.  The staff was treated to breakfast this morning courtesy of Vereen's Turf and Mark Rogers!  I want to thank Mark for his help and generosity making this a special week for my staff!

We put the same amount of water on the course last night as the night before, just enough to maintain what we have without changing the firmness of the turf.  We once again had to dodge the potential for rain, and there was a decent sized cell that brought rain just to our south early in today's round.  This system did prolong the morning cloud cover which made the greens slightly more receptive than I originally anticipated, and led to some solid scores.  Wesley Conover from Holly Springs fired the low round of the day with a five under par 66 and Beau Cutts of Henderson fired a four under par 67.  Conover now sits at -9 (T4) and Cutts is T7 at -8.  First round leader Bailey Patrick, Jr. of Charlotte fired a three under par 68 to vault to -12 and take the 54 hole lead.  He leads by two shots over Charlotte's Jim Pearson and 36 hole leader Joshua Martin from Pinehurst (both -10).

Round 3 North Carolina Amateur Results and Bailey Patrick, Jr. Interview

To cap off our final evening course prep of the week, Mrs. Greenkeeper with the help of the world's best Equipment Manager, JR Bailey treated the crew to another cookout.  Afterwards we posed for team photos (will post tomorrow) and then had one final "Red Parade" as we took to the course for the evening mow.

The mowing plan for this evening was as follows: Tees walk mowed at 0.325" (6-12 direction).  Approaches, surrounds, and par 3 fairways triplexed at 0.375" (9-3 direction).  Fairways were mowed at 0.475" in a clockwise "shadow" cut.  Our fairways should really show the light/dark contrast tomorrow and the approaches are in full "checkerboard" mode.  When you take into account everything leading into this tournament (weather, growing conditions, previous events, etc.)  I am very pleased with the condition of the golf course and very proud of my staff!  

We tended to the driving range tee (mowed, filled divots, etc.), filled divots on all tees, front 9 bunker faces were hover mowed, collected soil moisture readings on all greens, hand watered where necessary, and collected firmness readings.

Knowing the end is finally in sight, I am proud of the crew for embracing this week and this championship the way I have.  We are excited for tomorrow's final round and we look forward to putting the finishing touches on the golf course tomorrow morning!  Now, time for me to go mow the lawn.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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