PGA Professional at the U.S. Open: Day 4
Matt Dobyns, the PGA head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., shot a 4-over-par 74 Thursday 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.
Dobyns tees off in the second round at 2:31 p.m. Friday off the No. 10 tee. His playing partners: University of Alabama sophomore-to-be Robby Shelton, a member of the reigning NCAA Champion Crimson Tide, the 2012 Junior PGA Champion and a member of the 2012 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team. Shelton shot a 78 in the first round. Also in the group is Australian professional Brady Watt, who one year ago was the world No. 1-ranked amateur. Watt opened with a 77.
By Matt Dobyns, PGA
It was a good day, and I got off to a solid start. I hit it close on Holes No. 1 and 3, and had birdie putts hanging on the edge of the cup. I couldn't ask for a better opening hole – hitting my approach dead solid to 15 feet and almost making birdie.
I made four straight pars to begin the round and stood on the fifth tee, a par 5, and felt, "OK. Here we go." Then, I hit a poor tee shot. I ended up on the green in regulation, but three-putted for a bogey. When you're hitting your approach shot from the native vegetation, you can't put the ball in the best spot you intended on the green. I had to be conservative with my first putt, because if I hadn't, it would still be rolling. What I did was take double bogey out of play.
I had birdie chances from 4 ½ feet at No. 9 and from 10 feet at 10, and just couldn't get the putts to drop. On 14, I made a bad bogey with a wedge in my hand from the fairway.
My spirits were boosted with a birdie at 16. With the hole playing downwind, I hit a 3-wood because I knew that hitting driver would mean I would have a tough angle from the left side of the fairway. When I got to my ball, I was 210 yards out and 186 yards to the front. Anything that landed on the green would bounce over. I saw what happened when one of my playing partners, Robby Shelton, hit his shot to the green. It bounded over and to the back. So, I stepped up and hit 8-iron to four feet and made the putt.
I felt that I left a few shots out there, but how many more players are saying that tonight? The leaders were 2-under par when I finished, and that tells me that if I can go out tomorrow (Friday) and shoot even-par, then I may have an excellent chance to make the cut.
I was happy with the work that we put in the previous three days. It helped me a lot to know where you have to miss it around these greens. Now, I know where I can hit it to have a chance to get it up and down.
This is really a straightforward golf course – you see the shots that need to be hit. I'm not one who can get the ball up really high and that's a challenge. It all comes down to the green complexes. They remain the biggest challenge for all of us.
The crowd was great, and just like I experienced at the  PGA Championship. I thought it was pretty big, considering that I don't play in front of big crowds every week. It was great to have my wife, Laurie; my dad, Bob, who was here from Austin; along with my stepbrother, Parker; and his son, Carson, of Dallas, following me.
I have a late tee time tomorrow and there’s a chance of rain in the afternoon. That could also mean some increasing wind on either side of the rain. But, we're prepared for that.
Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I could not be playing a better golf course for me in a major championship.