Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daddy's Girl

My father has always been there. From the first moment that I was aware of a world beyond myself, of a sky above and the need for nourishment, he was there. I’ve never known a day in which my father didn’t love me, protect me and support me with all that he had. There was a time that I feared being left alone, feared not having constant support. I would occasionally imagine life without my parents and cry. Thankfully that day never arrived, until now.

I am so much like my father. The outside observer knows instantly that we are related. We share the same slight build, long legs, slender arms, and high cheekbones. We share many of the same characteristics as well. We are simple in nature but fight a tendency to complicate. We are level headed and abiding in general with a short fuse that shows itself on occasion. We try not to judge and look for the best in our contemporaries. We are not particularly religious, but rather use reason to answer our questions and guide us.

My father believed in a quiet life filled with hard work and a mantra of doing the right thing no matter what. I strive to follow that philosophy. I attempt to follow the high road even when the alternative beckons. I believe that my father held the dream for a more adventurous life and I’d like to think that I fulfilled that part of his cravings.

My father taught me what was right and wrong by example, not by words. He encouraged me to shoot for the stars and not accept mediocrity. He supported me early on in every manner possible, praising me and correcting me as needed. He never laid a hand on me, instead he disciplined with a slow shake of the head that showed his disappointment when I had chosen poorly. To disappoint my father was the ultimate shame. That was penalty enough.

I will miss seeing my dad physically, but visually I will see, remember, and experience him many times throughout each day. He is a part of me. I am a part of him. We have a connection that will never wane.

Thank you Dad for instilling in me the basics in which to live by and for being there day in and day out for 46+ years. Thank you for introducing me to a balanced way to live life. Thank you for loving me and being proud of me. Thank you for introducing me to the game of golf that has molded my life in so many positive ways. I am honored and thankful to have had someone as unconditionally loving and caring as you.

Please know that I will take care of mom and make sure she transitions well to a life without you. After 63 years together, it isn’t going to be easy. I will be there to help her in any way possible. Together you two became one and will forever be my inspiration for dedication and persistence. A day won’t go by that I won’t miss you or thank you for all that you’ve done to help me become the person I am.

I am my father’s daughter forever.

Dale Cockerill B 12/21/24 D 8/12/11

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011 Women's Amateur

Yesterday I drove down I-95 from Boston to Barrington, RI excited to get to Rhode Island Country Club and start prepping for the US Women's Amateur. I always look forward to working the Women's Am, but this year I'm especially excited because it's the first time the Am has returned to RICC since 1987, the year that I won it for the 2nd time!
RICC sits near the Narragansett Bay and is part seaside, part parkland course. It's a gem designed by the great Donald Ross in 1911. There is no trickery here, except for the challenging greens. It is a scenic, tranquil course that inspires--one never tires of playing RICC.
This week I'm staying with Bob and Audrey Sprague who ran the Championship back in '87. They live right off the course, so it will be an easy walk or bike ride for me from their house to the tv compound. So far today, I toured the course and memories of my matches here came flooding back. I remember feeling that rare sense of confidence in all parts of my game, especially w/ my putter. I remember beating Carol Semple Thompson for the first time in the quarter finals and having to bring my very best game to do so. I remember during the final match versus Tracy Kerdyk being 2 up after the first 18 only to have play suspended for the rest of the day after we had hit our approaches to the first green of the afternoon match. It was the only time that I was slightly discouraged, mostly because I was so focused and prepared to play 36 holes that day and then suddenly I had to face another anxiety ridden night before another final day. Of course, it all ended up great for me as I beat Tracy 3 & 2 to win my 2nd straight Women's Amateur.
Today, it was great seeing all the women out there playing the second day of stroke play....some were carrying or pull carting their own bags. Some had family or friends on the bag and others had local caddies toting the bag. The course has been lengthened by 150-190 yards and is playing at par 71 rather than par 73. Hopefully the weather will hold tonight and tomorrow am and we'll have the 64 set to play the matches. Can't wait!!