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If you've visited this blog in the past week, you've heard about "the accident." (The car has now been totaled, by the way. Totaled by a trailer! They don't make 'em like the used to.)

Anyway, the whole reason Mom and I were in South Carolina was because we were traveling home from our trip to the first practice round at the 2017 PGA Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This mock trophy was more popular than the players

This year's tournament is being held at Quail Hollow, about 10 miles from downtown. We stayed downtown on Sunday night and took a 45-minute light rail and bus trip to the the course on Monday morning. The forecast called for rain, and rain it did. When we finally reached the course, it was soaking wet.

Water, water everywhere

I'm no golfer, so I can't really relate to the course as a playing field for sport. And it's concessions didn't hold a candle to the delicious fare served at The Masters in Augusta. However, I do enjoy a good walk in a well-manicured park. The course was beautiful, and despite the overcast sky, we saw plenty of stars.

Hey, look! It's Rickie Fowler in shorts!

For those of you unfamiliar with the big name golfers, that's Rickie Fowler swinging the club above. We also spied Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Brooks Koepka (who I've called "Cupcake" ever since hearing someone else refer to him as such in Augusta), and more. Rory McIlroy was particularly impressive, not because of his play, but because immediately after completing the course, he spent a very, very long time signing an autograph for every kid who wanted one. It's always heartening to see a pro player appreciating his fans.

All in all, it was a good trip. I think Mom enjoyed herself, and that was really the point. (They were her tickets, after all.) I think she'd do it again.

Well, most of it.

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"This is more fun when we win," Mom said. She was right.

UGA 37, Louisville 14

The 2014 Belk Bowl game was exciting. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead, then struggled to overcome the loss of senior quarterback Hutson Mason just before halftime. A small but enthusiastic crowd cheered the Dawgs over their hurdles as Nick Chubb ran for 266 yards on the way to a 37-14 shellacking of Louisville. (Gurley who?)

I'm sure it was a satisfying win for a lot of Georgians, who savored scoring so many points against former UGA coach Todd Grantham and also enjoyed crushing Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino. He was the man who walked out on the 2007 Atlanta Falcons in the midst of a disastrous 4-12 season. (He was later fired by the team that stole him away, the University of Arkansas, for getting caught in an adulterous affair with an employee.) It will never stop being satisfying to see him lose.

Charlotte was cold on December 30, 2014, but the city was welcoming and Bank of America stadium was very nice (besides a complete failure of signage instructing visitors how to get around outside the stadium). Two consecutive bowl games, two stadiums built for the 1995 NFL expansion teams. Mom thinks Charlotte's is nicer, but that may be because it rained on last year's trip to Jacksonville.

Not to be confused with Queens College of New York

For the record, Mom jumped at the chance to visit Charlotte, home of her old alma mater, Queens University. She didn't graduate from Queens — that would come later at Georgia State University — but she still has a fondness for her first college. I can see why. It's a beautiful campus, if a bit small for my tastes. Where's the football stadium?

So that's two bowl games in one calendar year. I don't know if or when we'll head to another bowl game, but I enjoyed both that I went to in 2014.

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To be continued...

 

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