Rafael "Rafa" Campos, a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and member of VCU's Rams golf team is competing in his third Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular. Campos, a Puerto Rico native, has agreed to take some behind the scenes pictures and provide us with a daily diary of his experiences during his hometown and Puerto Rico's only PGA TOUR event.
I arrived in Puerto Rico Open last Friday from Virginia. I stayed in San Juan Friday and Saturday night and caught up with some friends. On Sunday afternoon I drove out to Trump International Golf Club and went through Player Registration. (Picture 1) It was raining Sunday so we went over to Bahia Beach (site of the Puerto Rico Open Monday Qualifier) and played a few holes.
This week is nice, I'm staying on-site at the Gran Melia Resort with Max (Alverio), Erick (Morales), and some friends. It's only a five minute shuttle ride to the course every morning. Starting Wednesday I'm getting my own room and hopefully I'll need it through Sunday.
It's been hard this week balancing all of my off the course responsibilities while still getting my practice in. When it comes down to it, I'm here to play golf and I need to make sure I balance my responsibilities properly (Picture 2/3). Tuesday was a pretty long day, it started with an early 9-hole practice round with Max and Erick followed by media interviews and sponsor tent visits from 11 a.m. to around 3:30 p.m. We went back out at 5 p.m. for another 9 holes.
Wednesday I made a trip over to one of the charitable beneficiaries of the Puerto Rico Open, a chapter of the United Way in Canovanas (Picture 5). It's cool to be part of an event that's donated over $500,000 to charity and helps kids like these with after school tutoring and mentoring.
When I got back to the course I hit some balls on the range, chipped and putted for awhile waiting for the course to open up from today's pro-am so I can play at least four or five holes before we run out of light.
I'm a little tired but I play at 1:14 p.m. tomorrow so I'll go back to the room get some rest and hopefully do well tomorrow. I'll be ready to go tomorrow that's for sure.