Player diary: Brad Dalke (Part 6)

Brad Dalke, of McKinney, Texas, tees off on the 18th hole during the junior-am on Thursday at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.

Boys Rankings »

#NameYearStateRating
1Doug Ghim2014IL67.86
2Cameron Young2015NY67.88
3Robin Wang2017FL67.91
4Andy Zhang2016FL68.18
5Brad Dalke2016OK68.19

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Brad Dalke, right, signs autographs with Gordon Neale during the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.

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Brad Dalke with his brother-in-law Matt Roy during the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley.

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Brad Dalke plays mini golf at Frankie's Fun Park in Columbia, S.C., after finishing 16th at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley. He found the greens a little easier than Sage Valley's.

This past week I played in the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley in South Carolina. It is such an awesome tournament! We stayed in cottages on the property, everything was first-class and the food was outstanding!

Sage Valley is a private course about 20 minutes from Augusta, Ga. I played in this event last year, as well, and I'll have to admit, it has to be one of my favorite courses to play. It is in incredible shape, and is very secluded and beautiful. We got pretty lucky on the weather. We thought the last day was going to be rained out, but we were able to play through a few light showers.

I got 16th place with rounds of 73-78-72. I actually played really well. There were just a couple of holes that killed me the whole week. I also had a handful of three putts, but the greens at Sage Valley are very fast and undulating. My caddy for the second year in a row was Tony Ross. He is a very experienced caddy and helped me in many ways. He knows the course very well, and caddies at both Sage Valley and Augusta National. Thanks Tony!

My roommate for the week was Dominic Foos, a great German player. We first met when we played together at the Evian Junior Masters in Evian, France, in 2011. One of the best parts of the week (other than the golf and the course) was having some serious pool games with everyone. The biggest cottage, the Lujan (where I was fortunate enough to stay) has a pool table and many games were played during tournament week. Nicolo Galletti from Arizona and I were partners most of the time and we took care of some business against everyone else!

Jack Nicklaus was the guest speaker at the opening ceremony. Getting to listen to someone I have looked up to my entire life because of the way he conducts himself and his accomplishments was an incredible experience. He spoke to us about the importance of balancing our golf life and family life in the future. He also told us that when times get hard, remember that golf is just a game. It's not life or death.

I want to thank Weldon and Tom Wyatt, and all those who serve on the tournament committee for everything they have done to make the Junior Invitational one of the top junior tournaments in the world. I want to thank the staff at Sage Valley for everything, from the food to the course. It was so awesome! Thanks to my family and friends for coming out to watch and support me during the tournament and a special shoutout to my sister Jac and brother-in-law Matt for traveling all the way from Oklahoma. And one last thing, it was really fun getting to know some of the Golfweek staff – Brentley Romine, Julie Williams, Cassie Stein and Lance Ringler. You guys do a great job!

Until next time . . . Boomer Sooner!

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