PGA Professional at the U.S. Open: Day 5
Matt Dobyns, the PGA head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., shot a 2-over-par 72 Friday, missing the 36-hole cut of 5-over-par 145 by one stroke in his first appearance in the U.S. Open Championship. For the 2012 PGA Professional National Champion, it was Dobyns' second trip to a USGA national championship, having competed in the 1998 U.S. Amateur. He was the lone PGA club professional in the 114th U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2.
His playing partners in the first two rounds were 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 finished with a 154 total for 36 holes. Also in the group was Australian professional Brady Watt, who one year ago was the world No. 1-ranked amateur. Watt ended with a 151 total, also missing the cut.
By Matt Dobyns, PGA
It stings to miss the cut by one stroke in your first U.S. Open. However, had someone said to me that I would be standing on the tee of my 36th hole with a chance to make the cut, that would have surpassed what I anticipated.
Frankly, I came to the U.S. Open and expected nothing.
We began play in the second round on the 10th hole, and I soon found that I would be scrambling for par. Fortunately, I had my short game working. I made a four-footer for par on 10, hit my worst iron shot of the week on 11, yet chipped to within six feet and made the par putt.
I continued to save pars until 16, when I hit my tee shot to six feet and made a birdie. At 18, I got up and down from the bunker for par and was 1-under at the turn.
On Hole No. 1, my 10th of the day, I misjudged a putt from off the green and missed an eight-footer for par. That was the biggest obstacle for me all week – how to judge the speed of a putt from off the green. I never really felt comfortable in how hard I needed to hit it. I was leaving putts in the 8- to 10-foot range, when it should have been in the 3- to 5-foot range.
On the second hole, I left a chip 10 feet short and got too aggressive with my par putt and ended up three-putting for double bogey. After a bogey at 6, I figured that was my last chance to make the cut. But things looked up when I birdied 7 and hit two great shots at 8, making a 30-footer for another birdie. When I got to the ninth hole, a 169-yard par 3, I saw that the wind had changed direction.
I thought hitting a hard 9-iron was the right choice. I did hit it hard, but it caught the short front edge of the green and then rolled back into a bunker. I hit a good bunker shot and had an eight-footer for par. We looked over the putt well and I hit it just over the high side lip of the hole.
My dream of making the cut in the U.S. Open was over.
It hurts now, because I do have a competitive side. But overall, I enjoyed the week immensely. I know being here was my goal, and I gave it a good run.
I also know that I will be back entering a Local Qualifier next year and trying to get back to the U.S. Open. I think that the way that a U.S. Open course is set up, I have the best chance to make a cut someday in a major championship.
After signing my scorecard and looking at the leaderboard, I had to stop. Martin Kaymer was 10-under par? Really? It made me happy to have a job.
I can see an even-par round, maybe 1-, 2- or 3-under par in two days, but a pair of 65s? Really? That is just unbelievable. He has control of his emotions and his game is precision-like. He obviously gets the ball on the right side of the fairway and to the right side of the green.
It was a great week, especially having family members in the gallery cheering for me. My wife and daughter, my father-in-law, my father, my stepbrother and his son were all there supporting me. It was a fantastic experience.
We get on a plane Saturday morning and head back to the club to work. My first order of business is to prepare for a father-son event, then a Monday corporate outing. I look forward to competing in the PGA Professional National Championship (June 22-25), trying to get a chance to play in the PGA Championship at Valhalla.
I think that having played in a U.S. Open, I have a good head start in practice.