Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships Player Blog

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 24, 2009, 10:03 pm

The following is a player blog from the 2009 Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships in La Quinta, Calif. The championship takes place September 22-27 at PGA West.

Day 1

Not very good… I missed a number of shots that really cost me. Oh well. You know why they call it golf, the other four letter word was taken. Always enjoy golf.

– Broderick Rogers, Raleigh N.C.

Shot 77, had a tough time settling down on the first nine and on the back I knew I had to get it together or else I might as well pack it up and search for an early flight home. I got it together and shot even on the back to stay five over. Tomorrow is another day and in a four-day tournament, anything can happen.

– Andrew Wilson , Chicago North

The greens were very tough today… Wait, my putting was horrible. I should have practiced in the oven at the house to get ready for the heat!  My wife walked all 18 holes to support me. I hit a 212-yard shot to two feet from the hole. I ended up with a birdie on No. 8.

– Paul Whitehead , Houston

Amazing views at Mountain View. Greens were running about ten on the stimp, so fast but true. I’m probably in the middle of the pack with an 89 today but I can make it up tomorrow! :-P

– Kevin Avery, Washington, D.C.

With great anticipation I hoped for a good round… Well, that’s what happens when you start thinking ahead. I ended with a 96. T54. Another day tomorrow.

– Larry Goetz, Los Angeles

Managed a 33-42 to take 2nd.  Last four holes at Silver Rock where tough, including a 450-yard par 4 into the wind. 

– Greg Del Fium, Los Angeles

Every once in a while, you just have one of those days. Well, today was that day for me. Had the most birdies in my flight and still managed to dig a hole that took me to a tie for 20th. Oh well. Guess I just needed a little more fire under my ass before I decided to start playing “real golf”. I have a 12-shot deficit to make up in the next two days. The math is three shots a side, every side, over the next two rounds. I figure the current leaders will have some trouble eventually and I will just try to grind it out and see where it takes me. At least I have room to improve.

As far as the course and the conditions were concerned, it was as near to perfect as you could ask for. The tour staff, course staff, and folks from Golf Channel have done an outstanding job again and it looks to only get better as the week goes on.

Tomorrow I play PGA West Stadium. It will be my second time to play that course and I look forward to it. I played well last time at Stadium and I figure to improve on that number.

Before I log off tonight, I just wanted to thank everyone keeping up with me out here. Thank you for your support. Also, a HUGE thank you to the United States Coast Guard for giving me the time to come out and compete. If the crew in Alameda is reading, thank you and I will see you guys on Monday. Semper Paratus!

– Yancy Methvien, San Diego

Beautiful Day,  great playing partners. Shot 85, which all in all wasn’t bad given that I had to hit the comfort station four times! What the hell did I eat?

– Darrell Lee, Raleigh, N.C.

What a great day to play. Just a little hot, the course was in top level play. Shot okay but as of now I’m at T-42. Can only get better. The heat is around all week, topping over 100 degrees. Been drinking lots of water, now time for grown-up drinks and play a little better, leader at 74, I have some work to do. Big boy course tomorrow. Going low tomorrow.

– Craig Knight, Cincinnati, Ohio

Day 2

Today, went well. I dressed appropriately for my move on up in the rankings. Red/white for my “birdie” inspirations. Made 2 and moved from 54 to 25. The cut line has been made at 25% of the flights, which puts me close. Playing the LaQuinta Mountain, which I have played well. Thanks for the support.

– Larry Goetz, Los Angeles

I am playing golf on the most beautiful courses I have ever seen and enjoying this tournament and glad to be here.  Being in second place going into day three is a dream come true. Thanks to all my family and friends for the wonderful support and the guys here from my tour in Houston.  Thank you to the Golf Channel and all the tour directors for making this event and the entire year a memory to never be forgotten.  

– Jeff Stahlhut, Houston

Started on the back nine and thought it was a beautiful course, until I shot a snowman on the 15th hole. Ended up shooting a high 45 on my front 9 but came back with a 38 on the back. Love this course except my few blow up holes.

– Gary Kodani, Sacramento/Stockton, Calif.

Much improved from yesterday. Had a rough front nine starting on 10, but came back and shot 1 over on the back side. Made a 50 foot birdie put on hole 7 and won a skin!  Weather was fine. Good day, enjoying palm Springs area and appreciate the scoring sponsored by the Golf Channel and Sky Caddie. Met Kelly Tillman at Day One reception – wow!

– Gary Maniery, Sacramento/Stockton, Calif.

95. Tied for ninth place; fell apart the last three holes.

–- Steve Daughtrey, Los Angeles


Day 3

It was the day that the Golf Channel Tour Players stood still to witness the “disaster bunker blaster”. Yes, the signature hole at the La Quinta Mountain, in which I shot an 83 on practice day, became almost flipping that score. A 25 on a par 3, yes, you read it right!!!

A 69 on the back nine. I’ve never, I mean never, ever had this score and the total of 115 in 10 years will be recorded.

Needless to say I missed the cut but the team play is next and hope to do better… Will fill you in as I see each and everyone of you.

- Larry Goetz, Los Angeles


Had a great day today until the 17th (Alcatraz). Then we came in to some tool yelling at the cart guys cuz he wasn’t smart enough to get his clubs off the back of his own cart. Somebody owes the cart guys an apology.

- Big B & Phattie Caddie, Jacksonville



My trip to Hot Palm Springs is over. Missed the cut today, could not go that low after two poor days of golf. But had a great time here and all the host courses were wonderful to all of us. Hats off to the hot desert and all the golf staff at the seven courses we played. See you all next year.

- Craig Knight, Cincinnati


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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.