Because it is time consuming, being a teaching pro at Friar’s Head in Riverhead and being a mom to a five-year-old daughter, Becky McDaid estimates she has played only eight or nine rounds this year. That is just enough, considering that in the most recent two she won the Women’s Met Open.
That makes three times that McDaid, whose husband Adam is the head pro at Friar’s Head, has won the top event in local women’s golf.
“I rarely hit balls,” she said, back in the pro shop the other day after winning a one-hole playoff over Renee Skidmore at Willow Ridge in Harrison Tuesday. McDaid cited a quote she read from Westchester Country Club pro Mike Gilmore. “He’s similar to me in that I used to think you had to practice all the time to stay sharp. He said he puts more emphasis on frame of mind,” she said. “I’m in a great place mentally. I have an awesome family. Our work experience every day is a pleasure to go to. We have a happy life and that makes playing golf a lot easier.”
Everything is easier for the former U.S. Women’s Amateur champion than when she was on the LPGA tour in 2007. She repeatedly and inexplicably passed out and was ultimately diagnosed with tachycardia syncope, which causes the heart rate to dramatically rise and fall. Now she has a pacemaker with a fresh battery and feels fine.
Teaching actually helps her own game, she says, because sometimes a student asks her to demonstrate a shot and she has to come through. “That’s a pressure situation. That probably carries more weight than beating balls for an hour,” she said.
Who has an hour to spare when five-year-old Maggie has so much energy? “I think her record is three or four shots in a row, then she puts the club down and does something else,” McDaid said. Still, this was a big week for the youngster. Her mom promised to fill the Women’s Met Open trophy with ice cream.
Middle Bay paid its debts
An interesting follow-up to last week’s story of the Golf Club at Middle Bay’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy devastation: Larry Stopol, president of the club before it converted from private to public, said Middle Bay overcame the financial burdens from Sandy without debt. He pointed out that the club operated as a land lease without equity in the property.
“We filed for bankruptcy as there was not ownership interest to protect and our cash flow was insufficient to maintain the club,” he wrote in an email. “All creditors of Middle Bay, secured and unsecured, were paid from the bankruptcy estate 100 percent and the local charities that Middle Bay regularly supported received distributions from the Middle Bay Charitable Foundation when the bankruptcy was settled.”
Card qualifies for U.S. Amateur
Jay Card of Shelter Island, the medalist at a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Monday at Garden City Country Club, will be in the field at the New York State Open this Tuesday through Thursday at Bethpage Black. The public is invited and admission is free. Starting times are posted at met.pga.com.