PGA Professional at the U.S. Open: Day 2
Matt Dobyns, the PGA head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., competes this week in his first U.S. Open Championship. The 2012 PGA Professional National Champion, Dobyns is making his second appearance in a USGA national championship, having competed in the 1998 U.S. Amateur. He is the lone PGA club professional in the 114th U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2.
By Matt Dobyns, PGA
The best part of today's (Tuesday's) morning practice round on Pinehurst No. 2 was being able to avoid the heat. It's hot here, and it's going to stay hot this week.
We had a good practice round this morning. I played with Matt Jones, Kevin Stadler and Aron Price. They are all great guys and we moved along pretty smoothly. We played in five hours, and it was nice how much cooler it was for us.
I spent more time to understand the various places where to miss it based upon where we anticipate the pins to be on Thursday. So, I spent a lot of time making notes in my book.
I think that the practice facilities at Pinehurst are fantastic. It mirrors what is going on the golf course. As for those native grasses that you will find near the edge of the fairways, I doubt that anyone can go through 18 holes without going into them at least once.
DOBYNS DIARY FROM THE U.S. OPEN: Monday
It is interesting after the all the changes made to restore the course to its original (Donald Ross) design, you find how the centers of the fairways are softer than the edges. I think it will be compelling to watch the play this week and see how the players handle the course. I find that it serves me best to be aggressive off the tee.
I plan on using the driver a lot. For me, the only way I can be able to compete is to stay aggressive off the tee. If you can do that, you will have a huge advantage here. You can then elevate the ball coming into the greens.
My caddie [PGA Professional Chris Crenshaw of Roslyn, N.Y.] and I are on the same page in reading the greens. We agree in seeing the right amount of break. I think that you will see a lot of guys making a lot of putts here this week.
I have enjoyed a couple good weeks of play prior to arriving here. Two weeks ago today, I won the Met PGA Polo Head Pro Championship by seven strokes [at Country Club of Darien, Conn.]. I was playing a course that set up better for me.
PHOTO GALLERY: Best shots from Tuesday's practice-round action at Pinehurst
When I got to the Sectional Tournament [June 2 at Old Oaks Country Club & Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y.], I felt that I was still playing well enough and was consistent. I was playing with some very good players and that experience, I believe, can only help me this week.
The hardest part for me – for any club professional – is not letting the emotion affect the results. It's easy to perform in a setting where you are comfortable. Then, you have to take into account at a major that you are not the professional who is grinding out here every week, traveling and dealing with all the different pressure and distractions.
It was good to get back to hotel, lie down and get some rest. After 5:00 p.m., it’s time for me to head back to the course for some short game and putting practice. I've avoided the heat pretty well today. Tomorrow, I will try to sneak on somewhere and maybe play just nine holes.
Playing in the 2012 PGA Championship, I was not full of energy by Thursday. I'm trying to avoid that this time.