A look at their scores might lead one to conclude that Doug Wade and Zach Yinger had some awful experiences at a couple of major golf championships in the last 10 days.
Wade, head golf professional at Miami Valley Golf Club, played in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and posted scores of 83 and 93 for a 32-over-par total of 176. It was the highest of those turned in after 36 holes.
Yinger, 20, of Sidney, didn’t even get his name on the scoreboard at the U.S. Amateur Championship at Cherry Hills in Denver because he withdrew after nine holes because of poor play.
In spite of their disappointing performances, both golfers used the word “awesome” to describe their experiences.
Yinger, a sophomore at Ball State University, said “it was neat” attending the USGA reception the night before the championship and hearing John Elway give a 20-minute speech.
As for his golf, Yinger played the back nine at Cherry Hills and said, “It was a rough nine holes. I played some pretty bad golf. Because of me we got put on the clock (for slow play).
I couldn’t hit the fairways. When I hit a good shot, it turned out bad. We had to have a ruling on four straight holes. I finished nine holes and withdrew as a courtesy (to my playing partners.)
“It was really disappointing. You never want to withdraw. But it was a good experience. I learned a lot. If I have a chance to go back again, it will make the trip a lot easier.”
Wade feels the same way about playing in the PGA Championship. Although he played on the Ohio State golf team and in mini-tour events, Wade had never played in front of crowds the size of those at the PGA.
“The whole week was crazy and surreal,” he said, adding that he probably practiced too much in the three days prior to the beginning of competition. “You’ve got friends and family coming out to see you and before you know it you’re out there from sunup to sundown. I wore myself out.”
Wade sensed what the crowds were going to be like during practice on Monday when, while standing in a sandy waste area near the gallery rope, he hit an 8-iron approach to 10-feet. “The place went nuts,” he said, “and it scared the daylights out of me.”
Starting Round 1 on the back nine, he bogeyed the 10th hole and made a triple bogey at 11. He was 10 over par after 10 holes and played the last eight in 1-over for an 83. “I could easily have shot 75,” he said. “I attribute that (83) to nerves. I was out of my element.”
On Friday morning, when he was hoping to redeem himself, he got out of his car, saw wind gusts blowing up to 40 mph and knew it would be extremely difficult. It turned out to be the highest scoring day in PGA history, with a field average of 78.
“Friday morning I could barely move my arms,” he said. “They were like Jell-O. I hit a bad shot on No. 2 and made a double. I was so dejected.” He was 9-over-par at the turn and 21-over when the ordeal ended. “Mentally I was fatigued and totally out of it,” he said.
Scott gets a double
Nick Scott, who had won the City Match Play Championship in June, added another title last Sunday when he won the Medal Play crown at Madden Golf Course. With former champion Steve Block caddying for him, Scott shot 69 in the final round to finish 10-under-par at 280 and win by one stroke over Matt Zedrick, who shot 72 in the final round.
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