Katie Kempter - Rookie Blog Two

Hello, again!

Well, I'm sitting here in Mexico City's airport waiting to board my plane to Morelia for the Tres Marias Championship that will be held this coming week. It has been a bit of an adventure to get to where I'm sitting right now. But I'm finally a bit more relaxed and at ease while I write this! I thought I'd maybe recount my first solo international trip and then talk a bit about the past month, as well as what I'm doing this week at Tres Marias. For someone who hasn't been out of the country more than three times in my life and always with either a group, team, or travel buddy, traveling alone today has been a good experience. Once I got into Mexico City and into the terminal, I did run in to a few players, caddies, and LPGA staff. It was nice to run into familiar faces and it was helpful, too.

When I landed in Mexico City, I had no idea what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to go. See, when you're with a team, it's easy to just follow along and not really pay attention to the little details. I always thought I payed pretty good attention when in airports, but it's so different when you have to do it on your own. I didn't have a boarding pass for my next flight and ran into a caddy with a similar problem, so he and I wandered the airport trying to find a SkyLine train to take us to terminal two. We had a nice man convince the security guards that we were okay to get on the train because we had confirmation numbers, but I'm not sure what he and I would have done if it weren't for that man! Once we got to terminal two, the airport security guard showed us where to go to get our boarding passes. It was all a bit of a whirl, but we managed just fine! Once I got through and was on my own again, I wandered around to see if there was anything worth eating that wasn't an American chain. I settled on a little sandwich shop and the guy spoke Spanish so quickly that I only managed about a quarter of what he was asking me. But hey! I knew he asked me if I wanted it heated up and whether I wanted some jalapeno salsa to put on the sandwich. Lunch (sandwich and a bottled water) was only $59 in pesos. I looked it up on my phone - it was about $4.50 USD. You can't even get a bottled water in an airport in America for that! Eye opening to say the least.

Flying into Mexico City was different, but at the same time beautiful. It is a huge city and it looked like no one had yards like we do back home. There where huge buildings in various places and neighborhoods scattered everywhere. I only counted two golf courses while landing. The mountains that surround the city are gorgeous. I'm excited for the week and looking forward to seeing some of Morelia and everything that is around it.

This past month, since the KIA Classic, I played a Duramed FUTURES Tour event out in Daytona Beach, FL, and went to both Denver and Phoenix; Denver to see my old roommates, golf, and see a concert (Gin Wigmore and Citizen Cope), and Phoenix to play golf and see another concert (Sia). I hadn't been to a concert in over five years and found myself at two within five days of one another, in different cities nonetheless! While getting a bit of fun in, I was working hard on my game as well. I spent a lot of time playing, working on fairway bunker shots, and relaxing my mind. It's nice that it's almost May, because the grass is finally greening in Abq and the rough is beginning to grow up - summer is just around the corner!

As for this week, I am really looking forward to it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's a new course, a great course from what I've heard, and in warm/hot weather. However, this week I'm most looking forward to carrying my DU golf bag. The restriction on bags for this week has been lifted (so the bags don't have to be staff bags) allowing me an opportunity to carry it. I figure it's a great opening in which to represent the University of Denver. Sammie and Lindsay as well as teammates/best friends throughout my four years at DU were a huge part of where I am today. Sammie took a chance on a kid from Albuquerque and Lindsay had to deal with all my bad habits (you know, she even taught me a thing or two about short game!) Along with Sammie, Lindsay, and my teammates, the Moore family of Colorado is a huge part of why DU even has a golf program. Ron Moore had a vision to bring collegiate golf back to the University of Denver after its many years in hiatus. As a former Pioneer, Ron did exactly what he dreamed - he pioneered a golf program. He created a men's and women's Division I program over 10 years ago and put his heart and soul into its development. His wife, Carol, and the rest of his family have continued to carry on his dream after his passing in 2004. Ron believed that golf provided him an opportunity that he would not have otherwise come across. He wanted to share that with a new generation of "up and comers." Because of the Moores, I was given the gift of education, competitive golf, and life experience. I wanted, at some point this year (and every year to follow), to carry the DU bag. I just didn't think it would be so soon. While it may not be seen all over TV, the story is out there on the web and the Denver name is out for the public to see. I just hope that I can carry the spirit and passion that Ron put into the Denver programs. It's a special program and a special place, and I will always be honored to carry its tradition in my heart! As I finish writing this on a Monday evening, I found out the Pioneers were just placed in the Central Region and will head to Indiana to play their way into the NCAA Championship help in NC later in May.

Hope all goes well for all the golfers out there around the world. Love the game and enjoy it!

KK

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