By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
A swarm of gnats continuously pestered Ryan Goldfarb. Like most golfers -- and spectators -- at the Pepsi Titan Little People's Golf Championships, Goldfarb spent much of Tuesday batting away the gnats fluttering around Westview Golf Course.
Goldfarb found his elixir, even it was temporary.
"Apparently, they don't like vanilla," said Goldfarb, who is from New York City and shot a 3-over 73 in the boys 12-13 division. "So I put on some vanilla spray and that got rid of them. I sweated that off and they came back."
Quincy Notre Dame's Will Eversman, who shot a 78 in the boys 14-15 division, didn't leave anything to chance when it came to the bugs.
"Not really with all the bug spray I used," Eversman said. "I used about half a can."
Zach Burry, who shot a 1-under 70 to take the lead in the boys 16-17 division, went with Buggins insect repellent to fight off the gnats.
"It wasn't too bad," Burry said. "I usually put that on every four holes or so, and it keeps them away."
Burry's playing partner, Matt Echelmeier, who shot a 71, went a different route. He used Aborbine Junior, which proved effective.
"It works well," Echelmeier said. "I just put it on right before and at the turn when I was waiting, I reapplied."
Continuing traditions: MacKenzie Matthews and Sydney Bormann didn't journey the furthest to Westview Golf Course this week, but they have their reasons for traveling.
Matthews, from Prosper, Texas, and Bormann from Parkston, S.D., traveled a combined 1,196 miles to play in LPGC.
Matthews is here because of family tradition.
She is playing in her ninth LPGC and her mom, aunt and a few cousins have played in the tournament.
The entire family usually makes the trip to Quincy, but this year, only her father did.
She's making the trip worth it, as Matthews leads by seven strokes after shooting a 1-over-par 72 in the first round in the girls 14-15 division.
"As long as I don't get nervous and go after it, I'll be fine," she said.
Bormann made trip with a group of six other golfers tabbed the "605," which is their area code.
"We're here with our swing coach Todd Kolb," Bormann said. "We go to different tournaments like in Colorado and Arizona."
Two of the seven 605 golfers are playing in the collegiate division at Harry Mussatto Golf Course in Macomb, Ill. SClBHer sister, Jordan Bormann, shot an 83 in the first round of the collegiate women's division.
Time for a lesson: Nan Ryan, LPGC founder and executive director, made her way to the practice green Tuesday afternoon.
It was time for Ryan to give her 2-year-old granddaughter, Paige, a golfing lesson. They grabbed a putter from the clubhouse, and Paige spent several minutes testing her putting skills.
"That was her first lesson," Ryan said. "She has a little set of plastic clubs. I'd love to see her get involved. She's certainly not ready for Little People's, but you never know what's going to happen in the next year."
Ryan, a Quincy native who now lives in Colorado, said she's normally a pretty good putter but hasn't done as well this week during a couple rounds at Westview.
"I was telling somebody earlier I played and I hit six greens in regulation on the front nine in a row, and I three-putted five of them and four-putted the other one," Ryan said with a laugh. "And I grew up on these greens."
Superstitions: Winston Margaritis wants to wear a power color for Day 2 of Little People's.
Trailing Patrick Akaniroj, of Willow Springs, Ill., who shot a 3-under 68, by three strokes in the boys 12-13 division, Margaritis wants to feel confident.
So his choice of color is ... Red.
"It's an aggressive color," Margaritis said. "It's passionate."
For the second day, everyone wants to do something different to prepare. Goldfarb, who shot a 73, likes to get to the course early. He also likes to eat right the night before.
"I like to have a big dinner," Goldfarb said. "Maybe a steak or something with protein."