Stoney Creek student gets up-close look at Rocket Mortgage Classic

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published July 9, 2019

 Rochester Hills Stoney Creek’s Sophia Ubaydi poses with the scoreboard after the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. During the tournament, Ubaydi was tasked with holding the sign for tournament pros and changing the scores when needed.

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek’s Sophia Ubaydi poses with the scoreboard after the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. During the tournament, Ubaydi was tasked with holding the sign for tournament pros and changing the scores when needed.

Photo by Rami Ubaydi

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ROCHESTER HILLS — When Sophia Ubaydi returns to Rochester Hills Stoney Creek for her senior year, she will do so with a memorable story to tell her classmates.

Ubaydi was selected to be a standard bearer at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, held June 27-30 at the Detroit Golf Club. It was the first PGA event in Michigan since the 2009 Buick Open.

Ubaydi saw an ad on the Rocket Mortgage Instagram page calling for volunteers to help out during the weekend. After filling out an application, Ubaydi received an email with the news that she would hold the scoreboard for professional golfers.

“I thought it was really cool,” Ubaydi said. “It was also the first PGA event that I’ve ever been to. As soon as I got there, it was very official. I met a lot of cool people and had some interesting conversations. It was a lot of fun.”

Ubaydi followed Wes Roach and Martin Piller on Saturday. On Sunday, she got to the course early and had the choice of who she would follow. She chose the leaders group of Nate Lashley and JT Poston.

Lashley would go on to win the tournament, shooting 25-under par.

“It was really cool to see how calm he was,” Ubaydi said about Lashley. “He didn’t really freak out if he got a bogey. It only happened I think once or twice during the round, but he was able to recover, which is not something a lot of people can do very well, especially if a lot of people are watching you.”

As fun as it can be having an up close and personal look at some of the world’s greatest golfers, the weekend also came with its challenges.

One of the two largest obstacles for Ubaydi was being unable to speak with a golfer or a golfer’s caddy during their round. The senior said it would have been interesting to hear the conversations that went on between those individuals before any given shot.

A second challenge was finding the right place to stand on each green. Ubaydi had to place herself in an area where the scores were visible to fans, but more importantly, in an area that was out of the players’ way.

When Ubaydi steps back on the Stoney Creek campus, she’ll return for another season with the Cougars golf team. Last season, Stoney Creek won a Division 1 regional championship at The Orchards Golf Club. Ubaydi shot an 88.

As she approaches her final season, she does so with a key piece of knowledge that she learned from watching Lashley’s tournament-winning round.

“I think the hardest part of that golf course was when you had to hit shots out of trees,” Ubaydi said. “I personally have had a lot of encounters with trees when I’m golfing, and it just helped me realize that even some of the pros deal with lies that they don’t like or miss 5-foot putts. That’s a normal thing, and I shouldn’t really get too mad at myself for doing things like that.”

The Rocket Mortgage Classic will be back next year, and Ubaydi already has been selected to participate.

“I just loved the whole experience on Sunday where I was holding the sign for the leaders group,” Ubaydi said. “Holding the sign for the leaders is probably something I won’t be able to do again, so I’m glad I made that decision.”

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