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Maintaining a championship-caliber golf course is a difficult job. Add the worst heat wave in years and it becomes even harder to pull off the delicate task.
The golf course maintenance staff here at Olympia Fields has persevered through the oppressive conditions to keep the South Course in tip-top condition for the Girls’ Junior. Following this morning’s rainstorm, they were out in force to ensure that the eight quarterfinalists could pick right up where they left off before play was suspended.
But during the suspension, the crew, led by OFCC Director of Grounds Sam Mackenzie and comprised of mostly Mexican natives, received a special visit in the maintenance facility. Marijosse Navarro, a 14-year-old from Mexico, visited the maintenance crew to thank them for their hard work throughout the week – and their unfailing support for the countrywoman.
“They supported me a lot on the golf course, and I just wanted to give (support) back,” said Navarro, who was competing in her first USGA championship. She said that she loved having members of the maintenance staff watch her while she played.
“We are very happy with her, since she’s the only Mexican here,” said Eddie Gonzalez, a member of the OFCC staff who has been cutting and painting holes all week. “The last Mexican we looked at when playing was Lorena Ochoa! Now it’s her, and we are very excited.”
There is another connection between Navarro and Ochoa – both players have represented their home country at the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. Ochoa competed in 1998 and 2000, while Navarro represented Mexico in 2010.
Navarro, who traveled to Illinois with her parents, also might have made some family connections here at OFCC. Her father, Hugo, grew up in Guadalajara, as did many members of the OFCC staff. In discussing family stories, many familiar names came up, and Navarro might have found some distant relatives.