Monday notebook

Scott Erdmann of Oregon might be a first-timer this week, but he's making himself quite comfortable on the leaderboard. Plus, Jeff Coston cards the event's first ace, the East Course shows its strength and more.


Through two rounds, Scott Erdmann is at 10-under 133, tied for second and just two shots out of the lead. (Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)

By John Kim and T.J. Auclair,

HERSHEY, Pa. -- First-time PGA Professional National Championship Scott Erdmann participant -- one of 93 rookies in this year's field of 312 -- doesn't seem fazed by the big stage.

Through two rounds of the PPNC, Erdmann is at 10-under 133, tied for second and just two shots out of the lead.

"This is all so new," said Erdmann, who followed up a 6-under 65 at the East Course on Sunday with a 4-under 68 at the West Course on Monday. "I have friends calling and rooting for me and telling me they're watching. But to tell you the truth, I have never felt so comfortable with my game. My putter has been fantastic and my whole game is clicking."

Erdmann, a PGA Assistant Professional at Oswego Lake Country Club in Lake Oswego, Ore., who hails from New Zealand, has made just two bogeys this week. Those small blunders came on consecutive holes -- Nos. 7 and 8 on the East Course -- his 16th and 17th holes, respectively, in Round 1.

Following Monday's round, the 34-year-old Erdmann was looking forward to relaxing.

"I am going to get off my feet and relax," he said. "Getting back on the range can only hurt me. If I am out on the range too long, I end up tinkering with my swing, and I don't want to do that right now."

And don't expect Erdmann to be intimidated by the names surrounding him.

"The last thing I can do is look at what other players are doing," Erdmann said. "I need to just take care of my game and do what I need to do the last 36 holes. If I play like I have been playing, the rest will take care of itself."

OFFICIAL RECORD: Sean Dougherty, the PGA Head Professional at Milburn Country Club in Overland Park, Kan., is now the course record holder for the West Course here at Hershey Country Club.  Dougherty’s 8-under round of 64 on Monday included eight birdies, no bogeys and an eight-hole stretch in which he was 6 under. 

The West Course didn’t have a men’s competitive course record on file prior to this championship. The course, which plays to a par 73 for members, was considered the easier of the two courses, and the two final rounds will be played solely on the East Course. The lowest recorded (non-competitive) rounds on the West were by posted three people, including a former PGA Head Professional here at Hershey Country Club by the name of Ben Hogan.  

The lowest score ever shot in a PGA Professional National Championship is a 62 shot by Dan Kochivar in 1991. Kochivar ended up missing the 54-hole cut, following his record round by 78-74.

ON FIRE: Halfway leader Sean Dougherty’s home club, Milburn Country Club in Overland Park, Kan., suffered a fire last November that destroyed the entire clubhouse.  Dougherty and his staff have been operating out of trailer while a new clubhouse is being built. The pro shop and administrative offices are also in the trailer. 

ACES AWAY: Jeff Coston, a PGA Teaching Professional at Semiahmoo Golf Resort in Blaine, Wash., recorded the first ace of the 2011 PGA Professional National Championship when he scored a ‘1’ on the 201-yard eighth hole of the East Course with a 4-iron. 

VERY DIFFERENT COURSES: As expected, the East Course played tougher of the two courses for the first two rounds. In fact, on Monday, the par-71 East played to a stroke average of 73.91 while the par-72 West Course played to a stroke average of 72.60. So with the difference in par factored in, the West played over two shots easier for the field.