Despite 93, Ohio club pro refuses to hide
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – And after a brutally tough day that included seven bogeys, four doubles, two triples, and five hours of serious humility, Doug Wade had a truly demanding task.
He was asked by reporters to explain what had just happened, as if the 21-over 93 didn’t say it all.
Unlike the challenge of Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, the club pro from Ohio handled this chore brilliantly. There is no crying in golf; there is no denying the scorecard, either.
“It was just rough from the get-go. I wasn’t putting well. It was just a long day. You get out there, there’s no place to hide,” said Wade, 33, who is the head professional at Miami Valley Golf Club in Dayton. “The best moment today was finishing.”
Having qualified by finishing T-15 in the PGA Professional National Championship, Wade was playing in his first PGA Tour event, let alone his first major. Suffice to say, it didn’t go well. In 36 holes, he made just two birdies. With rounds of 83-93, he was dead last of the 154 who went 36 holes.
Still 30 to 40 friends and relatives had come out to cheer him on, and for them, Wade felt badly.
His Friday heartache was the second-highest score in PGA history, dating to 1958 when it went to stroke-play. (Gary Campbell, Round 1 in 1977, and Tom Dolby, Round 2 in 2002, recorded 94s.) But putting his misery aside, Wade said it was his main chore of staying out of the way of fellow competitors Jamie Donaldson (73–142) and Marcus Fraser (75–149).
“They were super nice,” Wade said.
Donaldson, a recent winner on the European Tour, certainly was aware of his playing competitor’s struggles, but he shrugged when asked about it afterward.
“We chatted and stuff, but you have to get on with your own game,” said Donaldson, who at 2 under is in the thick of things. “It’s tough for Doug and some of the (club pros) who aren’t as tournament tough as the tour players. On a day like this, if you’re off your game, it’s painful. He was a good guy, a nice guy.”
Wade knows it will sound hollow, but he didn’t think his round would have sounded so bad had he not putted so poorly. He missed four putts from 3 putt and needed to use the flat stick 32 times on the green and a handful of times just off of it.
Asked if he could remember the last time he posted such a high score, Wade thought for a moment. “Probably be when I was about 14, before getting into high school,” he said.