She still has two years left at the University of Kansas, but Quincy’s Emily Powers is getting taste of life as a golf pro this week at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Part of pro life includes getting courtesy cars everywhere you travel. Because Powers traveled to the event in suburban Minneapolis, she had trouble getting access to the player’s parking lot.
"We didn’t have a parking pass, so I talked to (tournament officials) and got a car," she said.
As a result of Powers’ gift of gab, she rolled away from Interlachen Country Club in a brand new Lexus.
"It’s not like my little (Honda) Civic," she said with a smile, "but the little Civic is good."
Powers also had a chance to sign plenty of autographs for the fans the lined the fairways on Tuesday and Wednesday, something she normally doesn’t get to do.
The Powers Pack
In addition to her family, Powers had two extra people along for her practice rounds. Quincy golf pro Mark Christensen, who has coached Powers since she took up the game 10 years ago, walked with Powers. So did Powers’ coach at Kansas, Erin O’Neill.
"I’m extremely proud of her," said O’Neill, who just finished her fourth season at Kansas. "She’s worked really hard the last couple of years. It’s nice to see that pay off. This is the ultimate payoff."
O’Neill spent four years on the Futures Tour. She hopes she can impart some wisdom on her protege.
"I just want to get her mind set in the right place and let her know that she belongs here and it’s not an accident.
Powers is the first player O’Neill has coached to reach the Open.
"I just can’t stop smiling," she said. "I’m happy to be here and be a part of it."
Other than Annika Sorenstam, who was wearing a sherbet-like outfit, and Michelle Wie, it was hard to tell who was who. Guess I ought to watch more LPGA golf. … Welcome to the U.S. Women’s Open, home to the $6 caesar chicken sandwhich and the $3 Dairy Queen Dilly Bar. … There are more South Koreans in the field (32) than there are amateurs (27). … Eight players have the last name of Kim (including Birdie), seven players named Park, and seven players named Lee.