Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.... in U.P!

Wow. I don't even know where to begin for this post. This story starts like 7 years ago, whenever the USGA first announced that the 2015 U.S. Open would be, for the first time, in the Pacific Northwest, at the new Chambers Bay golf course in University Place, Washington.  Chris and his parents and siblings all really enjoy golf both playing and watching. They even have a family Golf Association with tournaments, two sportswriters, a blog, paraphernalia, and trophies. Chris made us call my parents that very night and reserve their house for his family. I laughed at him and said something like, "who else would be wanting to stay there?" And he said something like, "Oh, people will be coming out of the woodwork to stay there! I mean, its 1 MILE away from THE U.S. OPEN!" My mother took the request quite seriously and for 7 years has told anyone that has asked to stay in their basement apartment for any length of time, "... well, as long as you realize my daughter and her family will need this space the third week of June 2015"

7 long, wonderful years of thinking, dreaming, planning. Over a year ago, it was decided that this U.S. Open Archibald family trip would be an adult-only trip and that all of Chris' brothers and sister's kids would stay home with the 'other' grandparents. 1 year ago, we all bought tickets and a series of serious and not-so-serious email chains ensued as we emailed back and forth about every aspect of the week. It was all of our first major golf tournament experience and we wanted to do it right. 6 months ago, while we were home in U.P for Christmas, we took the financial hit to get Chris some inside perspective on the course as he played a round at Chambers Bay. Its a tough job, but someone had to do it. (It actually was a tough job for him, since he had just been diagnosed a few days earlier with shingles and his chest was painfully itchy -another lovely spin off from his cancer treatment the year previous)

Then. Finally. The time had come! My 1/2 marathon race in Seattle was on a Saturday, then Sunday Chris' family arrived at my parents house and the tournament practice rounds started on Monday. Our plan for most of the days were to walk the mile and half to the course then walk around the course during the practice rounds to get a feel for it, watch our favorite players and find some good spectator spots, then walk back home. No food allowed in the course and no parking near it either.  (THIS IS A LOT OF WALKING) My foot was still hurting from injuring it on my race and I couldn't walk normally without pain. I was sooooo sooooooo sad that I was going to mess up this once in a life-time chance. I didn't want Chris to feel like he had to stay by me but I also knew I couldn't keep up. Rocking Frederick to sleep Sunday night, I prayed hard and cried and felt like some of the reasons why I wasn't able to train as well for the race was because I chose to do other more important things. I missed some of my long runs because of needing to be at church functions, or TREK or going to the temple and I only manged to get in 2 runs a week for the last month because of putting my family's/children's/house renovation needs above my own. I know some of the fault still lies squarely on my shoulders for not making the time and energy necessary to train properly, so I just felt sad that I messed up and got injured. I asked for a miracle and I got one! My foot quickly and steadily got better despite not really resting it, walking about 10 miles a day on it during the week of the tournament. I still limped up and down the hills of the course the first couple of days, but by the last day I could hardly feel any pain. Heavenly Father really blessed me. And my Mom and Dad were amazing and drove me to and from the course every day, waking up a 5:30AM some days to take me and picking me up at a moments notice.

The second (OR THIRD?) day, we met this awesome couple, Dan and Christi from Gig Harbor. We and they, along with a bunch of others, had decided that the best spot to watch the tournament would be the top left side of the grandstands by 5 green, on the back row. They beat us to it on that day, and we beat them to it on the next day. After sitting next to people for 10 hours a day, 2 days in a row, you feel like you really know them. I was sad that our plan changed for the last couple of days and we didn't sit there. Then on the final day of the tournament, we're up in some really good seats on the 18th green grandstands and up walk, Christi and Dan! We wave them over and give them some seats in front of us we had been "saving" ... well, really Chris was using them as a pillow, but hey it works.  We even had them come over for dinner and trifle at my parents house after the tournament ended. It was super fun to experience the excitement of seeing live golf action. I especially loved the few times we popped a squat down by some tee boxes and sat within 10 feet of the worlds best golfers, watching them swing.  I mostly loved just being with Chris and his family. We did crosswords together and joked around. Most evenings we were SO TIRED from walking/sitting/being outside all day that we just crashed when we got home. Chris and I still had kids to feed and put to bed most evenings. But most evenings we did manage to play some games or watch a movie, eat amazing food, and strategize for the next day before getting to bed around 11 since we were up by 5:30 most mornings.  Missing from this picture of us on Sunday is Chris' sister and bro-in-law Jess and Ryan. They have a crazy stressful life right now and how to leave a day early to get back to UT. We missed them!

But... what about the GOLF? Yeah, that's Chris' area of expertise. I'll let him write out the golf details...maybe even Farfell Miller III will do a sportswriters commentary...