Wednesday, August 12, 2009

PGA Tour Update: Kevin Roman Makes PGA Championship

Kevin who? Well, you can find his name on the PGA Championship pairings sheet alongside Louis Oosthuizen's and the "Legends Reno-Tahoe WINNER" (that would be John Rollins, and yes, I had to look it up) going off the 10th at 9:15 am Thursday and the 1st at 2:25 pm Friday. Don't be fooled by the Tour's claim that he comes from Georgia's version of Area 51, though. Nope, he's a Utica, NY native, through and through (OK, New Hartford, which is basically an exurb of Utica--or is it New York Mills, where he went to high school?). And he's blogging his PGA Championship experience. He seems to think he's playing with Matt Kuchar instead of Rollins--and, lo and behold, he's right. (The Tour and the PGA of America ought to compare notes once in a while.) If you're interested in how he qualified, dear reader, click on (and on and on and on). Me, I'm going to dredge up what I remember about Kevin from our central NY days.

He seemed to be a few years older than me when I first started playing junior golf, which back then made a big difference (turns out he's less than a couple of years older!). He was always friendly and funny, but I was pretty shy back then and didn't get to know him well. I remember him being super-long--and that was back before the ball revolution I've written about here before. But he also struck me as more interested in having a good time--on and off the course--than in developing his talents. Turns out that practical joker persona of his masked an intense love for the game and dedication to practice. The course I associate most with him is Utica's Valley View, a hilly, tree-lined Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design across the street from a reservoir, where he was an assistant pro when I competed in Utica City Amateurs in 1991-1993 (that last year he qualified for the U.S. Open) and 1997-2004 (although he must have left for Area 51 sometime around 2002). Even after he turned pro, you could tell he would have teed it up in a heartbeat if he could--he loved competition that much.

Other than that, there's not much to add, except to wish him luck. He certainly has the talent to do more than just make the cut. Let's see if he can do better than fellow Utican Moira Dunn has in majors this year!

[Update 1 (8/13/09, 3:43 pm): Welcome, Devil Ballers and assorted yahoos! I always appreciate the links from Jay Busbee. I'm well aware of how Kevin played today. I'm rooting for a big comeback tomorrow.]

[Update 2 (5:13 pm): This is awesome. Jay Flemma did an excellent profile of Kevin, too! Wonder how I never knew he played against both Moira and Kevin? Blogoramaville is truly a small world.]


courtgolf said...

exurb ?

This is the kind of thing that makes the PGA fun to watch. The guys we see every week at our local courses and country clubs get this one chance to play with the big boys. These guys can play the game very well - they play professionally in money tournaments, just not on a tour - all the while keeping their clubs and courses running. Not easy.

People can whine and complain about the PGA being a "weak field", but there are only 25 PGA Professionals in the field. If they were removed from the tournament, the 25 guys replacing them would be so far down the rankings that they would be unlikely to make the cut or cash any kind of big check anyway.

The top guys are still there - this is a least Thursday and Friday...where the PGA of America gets to show off a few of the players who were the start of what became the PGA Tour.

Our local guy in Atlanta is Tim Weinhart - and we're giving him a solid shot at making the cut this year.

The Constructivist said...

I think it's down to 20 club pros now. As I understand the term, exurb is a variation on suburb, but kind of more built up. But I'm a lit guy not an urban studies guy, so I could be completely misusing it!

Good luck to Tim!

Kishore said...
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