The first day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah CC's Course No. 3 has come and gone — and it was a good one for the American team — and Jim Wallace, the superintendent at Medinah's Course No. 1 checks in with how the golf course maintenance team spent its time on Friday:
5 a.m. — Morning managers meeting ... another day filled with emotion and excitement as we are roughly two hours from the start of the 39th Ryder Cup matches. We all feel really good about where the golf course is for the start of the matches today, and our job is to keep it that way.
5:45 a.m. — All teams are on the golf course and ready to execute, waiting for the go ahead with enough light to start cutting. There is definitely a different feeling today with the matches officially starting this morning. Everyone has an extra level of excitement and sense of urgency about them today. My team starts on the 13th green and we are able to start cutting a little bit earlier this morning due to some extra light from the video board across the water from the green.
6:20 a.m. — Every team has been cleared to begin work and initial cut checks and follow-up on all activities are in motion. The early start has my team on a really good pace today, and with the first group going at 7:20 we want to make sure we are moving quickly and with precision so that we are well clear of golf by the time they get through the first hole. We made some adjustments to our order this morning and that seems to be really helping us get away from any area where golf will be during the first hour of play.
7:20 a.m. — The 39th Ryder Cup has begun! We can hear the roar from the first tee while my team is on the green on No. 12 as the first players are introduced. The time simulation that Curtis and Ross have been going over with us is pretty darn accurate. As the players move through the golf course we are finding they are right on the time that we expected. My team wraps up morning prep at 8:30 a.m., our best time yet.
10:15 a.m. — Midday team meeting ... we go over the order that each of the teams will work through to get the golf course prepped for afternoon play coming on the heels of morning action. We begin to separate into our teams and prep our equipment.
10:30 a.m. — We are headed out to prep the course for the second round of matches. The players are right on the times that Curtis and Ross forecasted they would be, so it made it a lot easier for us to check our pace and know exactly where we stood at all times. As we are getting out and cutting greens, you can just tell by looking at them that they are going to be quick this afternoon, and from what I saw out there in the matches, it seems that was exactly the case. Moving through the crowds wasn't quite as bad as we expected today, most of the spectators were either following the final two matches left on the course from the morning matches, or getting in position to have a good view on the first couple of holes for the afternoon matches. The plan that Curtis and Ross laid out for us is working out great, and our staff is even getting some cheers from a very lively crowd.
2:30 p.m. — Our midday run is complete and we are headed back to the shop to reorganize, grab some dinner and get ready for our evening run around 4 p.m. The golf course is buzzing with excitement. The matches from the first round are tied 2-2, and the Americans are coming out strong thus far in the afternoon. Roars can be heard all over the golf course, and you can really see when you watch this event just how much the players enjoy this and take pride in playing for their home countries. The fans out there are certainly creative in their attire, as well.
4:30 p.m. — We are headed out for our evening run. The last two matches are still on the golf course; Team USA is having a pretty good afternoon. The crowds are all gathering on the last few holes, so most of the golf course is open for us to get started on the front nine. As the last matches close out and the crowds begin to clear, we are working through the golf course touching up some rough mowing, bunkers and filling divots. Darkness starts to close in around 7:30 and we put the finishing touches on an unforgettable day. I think I speak for our entire team when I say that this week is very special to all of us, and I am confident that memories of this week will stay with us for the rest of our lives. USA leads the matches 5-3 going into Saturday.