Divots - Short game matters on the PGA Tour

June 12, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

Dirk Schultz returned home to Hagerstown on Friday afternoon knowing the difference between club pros and PGA Tour players isn't that far apart.

"The biggest difference between club professionals and the pros is their short games," said Schultz after shooting back-to-back 74s and missing the cut at the Booz Allen Classic at Congressional Country Club. "Their short games are phenomenal. That is the difference between them and me. They hit shots that I wouldn't think is possible. They'll come out of a bunker with the pin cut three steps onto the green and just puff the ball up there like it is nothing."

Despite missing the cut in his fifth try in the Booz Allen, Schultz was still pleased with his overall game Thursday and Friday, played on the famous Blue Course at par 71 and more than 7,100 yards.

"I thought I was two good swings away in each round from making the cut," Schultz said. "But I look at it that the No. 1 golfer in the world (Vijay Singh) only beat me by eight strokes."


Schultz said he had a great experience in his playing threesome each day with Sean O'Hair and Kevin Stadler, the son of veteran Craig Stadler who got off to a 6-under start on Thursday.

"(Stadler) was awesome," Schultz said. "(He and his dad) are twins in temperament. He offered great advice and I think he's got a great future."

Schultz played in a round with O'Hair last year in Virginia Beach and said, "He remembered me right away and he was a very gracious individual."

USGA Qualifier

Black Rock Golf Course will be the host site for the United States Golf Association Amateur Public Links Qualifier on June 20.

Among area notables who will tee off are Seiji Hirai, Steve Young and Brandon Sheaffer, all of Smithsburg, and David Bradshaw, of Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Qualifiers from across the country will converge on Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon, Ohio, from July 11-16.

The course is rated as the No. 1 public golf facility in Ohio. It measures 7,000 yards, plays to a par-72 and was designed by the highly regarded Arthur Hills.

Clarke out

Darren Clarke, who had hoped to play in the Booz Allen Classic, will skip the U.S. Open this week.

The popular Irish golfer withdrew from the Open to be with his wife, who is undergoing cancer treatment. This will be the first major the 36-year-old has missed since 1998.

The U.S. Open will be played next weekend at Pinehurst No. 2. Clarke's best finish in an Open was there in 1999, when he tied for 10th.

Juniors fire away

The Tri-State Junior Golf Association begins another season June 20 when it tees off at Waynesboro Country Club at 8:30 a.m., beginning a season that will cap off with the Tournament of Champions at Beaver Creek on Aug. 15.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His Divots column appears every other Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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