This week Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Brady Riggs is working with a student, U.S. Amateur winner Danielle Kang, at the LPGA's first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Brady will file stories from the course throughout the week, so keep checking back for more updates. THURSDAY Round 1 is in the books with a very frustrating five-over 77. In all the time I have been around the game, I have never seen a player hit the ball better and score worse. (Scroll down to see a video of her swing.)
Danielle got off to a solid start and was one under through the first six holes. She missed one fairway and hit every green during that stretch and looked to be headed to a very good round. The cardinal sin at this golf course, however, is to miss over the green. Danielle hit four shots directly at the flag that ended up long and in the heavy rough. With rock hard greens that slope back to front, there was little chance of getting up and down. On those 4 holes Danielle was five over. Add to that a double from a greenside bunker and the round got away from her. She hung in there and played the last six holes one under to give her a shot at seeing the weekend.
The thing all of us can learn from a round like this is that playing golf is all about making adjustments. With the high temperatures and firm ground the ball was going significantly farther than in the practice rounds. Danielle made her adjustment a bit late, so her excellent ball striking wasn't validated on the scorecard.
Friday is a new day, and an under-par round should get her to the weekend. Photo: Kang with her caddie, Ty Gretzky