There were so many surprises in this amazing week but none bigger than being invited to have dinner on Thursday night in the U.S. Solheim Cup team room with Captain Juli Inkster and all the members of the team.
They had music playing and everybody was playing foosball and Jenga and pool. It was super cool to spend some time with them. I got to hang out with Brittany Altomare, who is an alumni at the University of Virginia. I’m still a junior in high school but I’ve committed to go to college and play at Virginia so it was really great to talk to someone who has been there and is now playing in the Solheim Cup. We connected a lot over that.
So, on Friday morning we walked out as a group onto the driving range and watched the morning players warm up. Then we headed into the grandstands with our PING Junior Solheim captain, Mary Bea Porter-King, who was great all week. She told us all kinds of stuff about Hawaii and who the Walker Cup is named after – stuff I don’t think any of us knew.
Once in the grandstands we watched all the morning matches tee off. Seeing the crowds and all the people cheering and singing was incredible. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like that at a golf tournament.
Then to see Juli dancing and laughing – it’s so cool to see these iconic figures, people I’ve always looked up to and wanted to be like, and they’re still so relatable.
After all the matches went out, we went to the hospitality area and watched some holes on the monitors. Then about half of us went onto the course. I found Brittany again and watched a few holes of her match with Lexi Thompson. Then I watched the Korda sisters. I didn’t know that this was the first time sisters had ever played together in a Solheim Cup. I can always say that I was there in person to see it happen the first time.
When we got back, we packed and got ready to head home. It was an amazing week, one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. It was something I’ll never forget.