JUNO BEACH, Fla. – When Pierceson Coody woke up at 9 a.m. ET, nearly an hour after the first match of the morning foursomes got underway at the 48th Walker Cup, he enjoyed his first full meal in 38 hours.

Coody was one of several competitors who needed medical attention after contracting a stomach bug that required a trip to the hospital for observation and an IV of fluids.

“We couldn’t even lay in our beds,” he said. “It was a really weird feeling, a really down feeling… Ever since I started my college career, this is all I wanted to do.”

Coody, 21, of Plano, Texas, recuperated quickly enough to live his dream. He batted leadoff for Team USA in the afternoon singles session and rallied from an early 2-down deficit to defeat Great Britain & Ireland’s top gun Alex Fitzpatrick, 2 up.

“It was really easy to get going,” Coody said. “It went as smoothly as it could, as sick as we all were a couple days ago.”

This wasn’t Coody’s first rodeo with a stomach bug while competing in a USGA championship. He suffered from food poisoning at the 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, losing 14-15 pounds in two days, and also dealt with mononucleosis as a freshman at Texas.

“I’m not surprised in the least,” said Cole Hammer, Coody’s teammate at Texas. “He’s one of the most competitive guys I’ve ever been around.”

Coody started sluggishly, losing two of the first four holes to birdies by Fitzpatrick, a 22-year-old Englishman who plays for Wake Forest University and is the younger brother of PGA Tour pro Matt Fitzpatrick. Coody described the club as feeling “a little light,” and it reminded the Texas junior of playing for the NCAA National Championship as a freshman. That experience prepared him to handle the nerves.

As his grandpa, 1971 Masters champion Charlie Coody put it, “He’s a fighter. He got 2 down and he never gave up.”

Coody battled back with birdies at Nos. 7 and 9, the latter a nifty up-and-down for birdie at the par 5.

“To get to be even at the turn was huge,” Coody said.

He kept momentum by holing a tricky 8-foot par putt at 10 to halve the hole, lost the 11th to a Fitzpatrick birdie before hitting “three perfect shots” at 12 to square the match. It stayed that way until the par-3 17th when Fitzpatrick’s bunker shot slid off the green and he made double bogey. Coody closed it out with a beautiful approach from the Seminole driving range and a conceded birdie to win the battle of the good golf gene pool.

Coody, who won two of the oldest amateur golf competitions in the country – the 116th Trans-Mississippi Amateur and the 118th Western Amateur — had his grandfather in attendance, watching on television from the Victory Club.

“The things he’s accomplished in golf is everything that I want to be able to accomplish, so having him come to my tournaments is amazing,” Pierceson said. “It’s really special.”

When the former Masters champion was asked if he ever played in the Walker Cup, he deadpanned, “I wasn’t good enough.”

As for wearing white pants like his grandson and Team USA had today, the elder Coody said that he usually opted for a different shade because of the habit of his black Golf Pride grips to stain them. What advice has young Coody gathered from his major-winning grandpa?

“I’ve kind of been asked to stay away a little bit, so I obey the instructions,” Coody said. “He’s got a lot of natural ability, so I just let that natural ability take hold.”

What little advice Coody has gleaned from his grandpa is of the simplest nature.

“The only advice he gives me is 3 is better than 4, 4 is better than 5 and never give up,” Coody said.

There was plenty of fight from Coody on Saturday and if he follows his grandpa’s other sage advice – 3 is definitely better than 4 – he should be in good stead for 36 holes on Sunday.



Source link

0 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

©2021 Minority Golf Association. All Rights Reserved

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account