My brother and I had the opportunity to attend the first round of the U.S. Women's Open at Saucon Valley CC in Bethlehem, PA. We walked around the course to watch the players on different holes, but then ended up positioning ourselves at the tenth tee. The groups that where part of the afternoon wave were getting their rounds started. We had a great spot up against the rope and within a few feet of the players as they waited to tee off. It was a special experience seeing these professionals from such a great vantage point. As we watched group after group tee off, we watched the women interact with the individuals who where assigned to walk with their group on the course. From officials to score keepers to the kids who carried the scoreboard and the fans surrounding the tee, watching how each player addressed them was interesting.
There was one player, though, that stood out among the rest to both my brother and myself, and that player was Mikaela Parmlid. This is not to say that the other players weren't cordial - because they were - it's just that Mikaela's warm, friendly approach and genuine smile gave you the feeling that she really appreciated your being there.
I became an immediate fan and rooted for her the rest of the day. We followed her as she played her opening round, and as we stood by on more then a couple holes, Mikaela took the time to say hello with a smile as she walked from the green to the next tee. She even took the time to say hi with a smile as she walked toward the green after hitting her second shot on a par four. And by the way, that was after pulling her second shot in the bunker next to the green.
I knew quite a few names of the LPGA players, but Mikaela Parmlid was not one of them. I now have a favorite player to root for and will definitely watch her career progress. I truly hope she achieves the successes she is striving for on the LPGA tour.
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