Category - Major Events
‘It’s An Honor’: Doan Reflects on Historic PGA Frisco Tee Shot at KitchenAid Senior PGA
It’s only fitting that the inaugural Major Championship played on Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco was started by Northern Texas PGA Section (NTPGA) Vice President and Preston Trail Golf Club Director of Golf Cameron Doan when he teed off at 7:10 a.m. local time Thursday.
The 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship is officially underway with some of the most accomplished golfers to play the game competing for the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy. Among the likes of Defending Champion Steven Alker, Bernard Langer and Ernie Els, are 36 PGA Professionals who comprise the Corebridge Financial PGA Team — which includes Doan, who finished T3 in the 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship at Twin Warriors Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
“When I played well enough in New Mexico to finish third and get this, that was pretty emotional, to be honest,” Doan said about the opportunity to hit the first tee shot and play in his first major championship. “We've got more than 800 PGA Members in this Section. So, it's not about me, I'm representing them.”
Doan generated a large crowd of supporters early Thursday morning around the first tee. The grandstand behind the tee box was filled with proud NTPGA Section Members, staff and fans excited to see a moment long in the waiting at PGA Frisco.
And one Doan was amped for.
“It meant a lot. I think I told myself leading up to it that, well, okay, I'm just hitting it for everybody else and I'll be alright,” notes Doan. “When I walked over to the putting green and started thinking about it I had to work on my breathing. I was pretty amped up.
“It's an honor to be able to do that for everything that's going to happen here for the next 50 years. It's an honor. It really is.”
One of those supporters following Doan today is newly-named NTPGA Section Executive Director Kelly Gilley, PGA.
“Cameron stepped up there in typical Cameron fashion and looked cool, calm and collected despite carrying all 800 Members of the Section on his shoulders, in a way,” said Gilley. “I think he knew this would be a special moment for the Section. He made it look easy.”
NTPGA CEO Mark Harrison, who played a role in the creation of PGA Frisco, caddied for Doan for the first hole — helping him start the Championship right with a par.
“The first call I made, I called him (Harrison) and said, ‘All right, you're in for the first hole,’” Doan said. “When I was in the hunt in New Mexico last October, he flew out, showed up Sunday morning on the last round and came strolling up on the 8th fairway when it's blowing, 30 and cold.”
It’s a moment Harrison had been longing for after years of putting PGA Frisco into motion.
“Incredible, better than you could dream, I would say,” said Harrison after handing off the bag to Doan’s son, Tristan, to caddy the rest of the round. “And to have him hit it right on the screws, that was incredible. I’m really excited for all the work that so many people have put into this and to see it actually come to fruition with the Championship and the first tee shot, it was almost surreal.”
Doan finished his first round of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship with an even-par 72. On his mind — especially on that historic first tee shot — was his late father, Ron, a PGA Life Member who inspired him to play.
“I talked to him when I was standing there getting ready,” noted Doan. “When I used to play in the Nelson, he would caddie. So he was there. He helped.”
So, too, was his family and the 800 local Section Members cheering him on, during a special day at a special place in Frisco, Texas.