My Year in Golf: Brentley Romine

Andy Hyeon Bo Shim defeated Jim Liu, 4 and 3, to win the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur at the Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H.

Editor's note: For our entire "My Year in Golf" series, click here.

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Like a good number of my colleagues, my year in golf did not include a major. It didn’t include the Ryder Cup. In fact, it included just one professional event – the Children’s Miracle Networks Hospitals Classic at Disney, which is right in my backyard.

But what it did include were trips and events that a lot of golf writers didn’t get a chance to experience in 2012.

Rather than knock out five or six hefty paragraphs recapping my year in golf – or my half-year considering I was hired full-time in April – here’s a list of some things (golf-related) I learned this year in my first year in the business.

I learned that…

• No lead is safe. And no, I'm not talking about the Ryder Cup. Jim Liu led 5 up through 18 holes of his championship match against Andy Shim in the U.S. Junior Amateur. And by the time the players walked off the 15th green for the second time that day, Shim had won 4 and 3. It was the largest final-match comeback in the tournament’s 65-year history.

• Oh, New England is a pretty nice place to be during the summer. Sure beats 100-plus degree temperatures in Orlando.

• Junior golfers like their sweets. Okay, so I’m saying this based off of two instances at the U.S. Junior: Andy Zhang making a few trips to the chocolate bowl in the media room after bowing out of the tournament and Beau Hossler making a sandwich bag full of brownies disappear after his second round of stroke play.

• Transylvania coach Brian Lane is a busy guy. Lane coaches both the men’s golf and men’s basketball programs. And both are pretty darn good, too.

• “The good Lord would never disrupt the best game of my life.” I could’ve said that during my round on the Blue Monster at Doral during our annual editorial retreat. It rained so much that day, and yet we kept on playing.

• I’ll let Lance Ringler be in front of the camera alone next time. My Golfweek debut in front of the camera left a lot to be desired during the Golfweek/Program Challenge in Pawleys Island, S.C. See for yourself.

• Charlie Beljan is a fighter. Cue the Gym Class Heroes (Actually, please don’t. No offense to anyone). Beljan fought through a serious illness, a hospital visit and the pressure of keeping his PGA Tour card to win his first PGA Tour event.

• Overcoming injuries was a nice little theme this year. Okay so people overcome injuries every year, but here are some from 2012. Andy Shim fought through some pretty nasty blisters on his feet to win the U.S. Junior. Gavin Hall returned from two wrist surgeries this year, and then he won the Ping Invitational. North Florida's Sean Dale advanced in his Q-School pre-qualifier despite a broken finger. And then you have Beljan.

• Records are made to be broken. Aside from Andy Shim’s record-breaking performance at the U.S. Junior, I witnessed a handful of other records fall this year. Campbell’s women’s team shot a school-record 8-over 860 to win the women’s portion of the Golfweek Program Challenge. Camels sophomore Brooke Bellomy carded a school-record 2-under 211, as well. During signing day, Middle Tennessee State landed Tae Wan Lee, who became the school’s highest-rated recruit in history. And while I wasn’t there, I was tuned into the U.S. Open, where 14-year-old Andy Zhang became the youngest participant in event history and Beau Hossler held the lead during the second round.

• Raccoons can fit in the smallest of places. I learned this at the Golfweek East Coast Junior in Celebration, where a raccoon, in the middle of the day, squeezed into a garbage can on the back nine and found itself a nice little granola bar. Here’s a picture.

• Sharks like golf, too. Or maybe a predatory bird just dropped it on the tee box at San Juan Hills GC in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. I’d like to believe the first one, but one thing is for sure, a 2-foot long leopard shark was found alive on a golf course. The shark was released back into the ocean and by now it’s probably grown into a cute, little 6-foot long leopard shark.

• There are two Robert Karlssons. And I think there might even be a third one out there. #agateprobz

• The AJGA headquarters are located at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Ga. I learned this while playing a round of golf there during the summer. I hope no one working that day saw me play.

• And speaking of the AJGA. Those guys are awesome. One of the most-helpful crews in the business.

• And speaking of great teams. The guys at the Faldo Golf Institute are a great bunch. Check out some of the instructional videos we’ve shot with them.

• And speaking of our YouTube channel. Just watched, for the first time, an episode of the widely popular and now defunct Outsmartin Trivia Game Show. If you’re a fan or Twitter follower of Sean Martin (@GolfweekSMartin), you should check those out if you haven’t. By the way, I’m finished with the “and speaking of” leads.

And I’m finished with this recap of my year in golf. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring.

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