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Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships Player Blog

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