As far as off-seasons go, this one has been unusually warm. After playing 11 events from January thru April, the schedule is pretty sparse until September. I have been able to play a few; two Asian Tour events (Yeangder TPC in Taipei and King's Cup in Pattaya, Thailand) and two ADTs (Tiafong Open in Taiwan, and the Aboitiz Open in Manila). However, the last few months are shaping up very well. Starting the first week of September, I will play somewhere around 10 more events to conclude the year.First up is the Japan Golf Tour qualifying stage 2 (I'm exempt thru stage 1 by virtue of my Asian Tour card) north of Tokyo Sept 5-9. Next I fly to Germany for first stage of European Tour qschool Sept 13-16. Then there are at least 3 and hopefully 4 Asian Tour events, possibly beginning in Japan (Osaka) the following week at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup, and continuing with events in Korea, Indonesia, and Macau, to take us through mid-October. (I'll write with more leaderboard links as we get closer!)In the previous four events I had moments of brilliance and moments that made me want to bang my head into the nearest tree. At the Yeangder TPC, I calculated that if I had putted my season average from 4- to 8- feet (67.7%), on admittedly tricky greens, I would have won by 2. As it was, I made a mere 28.6%, and finished in tied-26th, 6 shots behind (71-71-70-70= -6). I doubt if many or any guys putted well, but I only needed my average!The next week at the ADT was notable only for Typhoon Nepartak that blanket the island during round 2. By some bizarre circumstance, our hotel experienced very little rain and even less wind the entire day, while the rest of the island was getting drenched and blown every which way. I missed the cut and got to go home early (only 1 day though- thanks Nepartak...)After a couple weeks off, I headed to Thailand for the European Tour co-sanctioned Kings Cup. The course was short and fun, but after my start of -3 thru 12, I never got anything going. Despite making the cut on the number, the weekend was even more of a struggle, and I finished in tied-70th, skyrocketing me to 272nd place on the Race to Dubai (of 273!).And most recently, I got to play an event at Wack Wack Country Club in the heart of Metro Manila; easily in my top 5 favorite courses, and my favorite in Asia. I finished tied-13, and flew back that day. Biggest experience of note was my uber taxi ride from the airport, which was $4.00 for a 50-minute journey. Of course it was only about 5 miles, and that was considered light traffic!As I mentioned, next up is Japan, and I leave September 3rd, right after watching The Cardinal put the beatdown of the century on K-state! :)Thanks again for all your support and enjoy the last few weeks of summerDodge
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Stanford golf alum (2009) Dodge Kemmer shares his globe trotting pro golf adventures on the Asian tours in this report sent to Coach Ray on August 20th:
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Watching my putt lip in on 18 in the final round of Asian Qschool Finals Saturday was a fitting and relieving way to end my two weeks in Thailand and my first trip of the year. The putt was for eagle (the first one of the year) and a 6-under 65, my best round of the two weeks, to finish at -12 total and 2nd place alone. It also capped off the nearly-linear trend of improvement through the 8 competitive rounds I played, slowly but surely knocking off the Kansas winter holiday-season rust.
Despite a 74-74 (+6, t46) start to first stage, nasty poison ivy-like, golf-ball size blisters on my ankles, and getting on the wrong bus at 5:30am to the course, I finished with 70-68 for +2 total and qualified for final stage 1-shot clear. Top 40 and ties in final stage would earn Asian Tour cards for the 2016 season. With the tough side of the draw (hard course in the windy afternoon), I started final stage 68-71 (-3) in a tie for 29th. Weekend rounds of 68-65 earned 2nd place honors and Asian Tour status for the coming season. Here is a link with my translated and then translated back quotes: http://www.asiantour.com/2016/01/16/atqs-rd-4-what-they-said-2/
I can expect 12-15 starts, mostly in the fall, and am currently 5th reserve for the Singapore Open next week (featuring Jordan Speith), a $1M purse event to kick off the season. If I don't get in, I'll play a couple events on the Asian Development Tour leading up to the Bangladesh Open February 10-13.
Ill continue to send tournament links in the days before and also post on facebook and twitter with daily updates. Thanks for all your support!
Monday, November 30, 2015
Just as I was gaining momentum and starting to play consistently well, my season ended abruptly and unexpectedly. I missed qualifying for the Final Stage of Qschool for the European Tour by 2 shots, finishing -1 for the week when -2 would have been in a playoff and -3 was in safely. I struggled on the slow greens all week and my late, near-heroic effort of 6 birdies in my last 10 holes (with 4 of the last 5! where was that all week?) was too little too late. And as if that wasn't enough heartache for one day, my backpack with passport, computer, everything, was stolen out of my car that night.
The American Consulate in Barcelona was unexpectedly efficient and I made it back home with a day to spare before heading to southern California for 2nd stage of Web.com qualifying.
With my mom on the bag and quicker greens I was ready to make up for the previous week by blazing to a record-setting victory, with trumpets and confetti heralding me as I birdie the last hole, find my backpack in the trunk, and drive off into the sunset. Alas, the par-5s had other plans. I finished the week +3 on par 5s, in contrast to the top three finishers who were 14, 10, and 14 shots better than me on those holes for the week (I missed by 5 at +1 total). And that is without hitting a single drive out of play--historically my achilles heel.
So I finish the season. Or two seasons really. Following my spine operation in January, from April through August, I played 11 events, was +43 total, with a 73.12 scoring average. Then, from September through November, I played 5 events, was -30 total, and had a 70.30 scoring average including a win at European first stage (-16) and a top 20 at the European Tour's Russian Open. I'm finally healthy and swinging well and excited to build upon the last few months going into next season.
Next up will be Asian Tour Qschool in early January. As far as European or Web/PGA events, I have to rely on sponsor exemptions, so when you talk to your friendly local tournament director don't forget me!
Thank you very much again for all your support and enjoy the holidays!
Monday, October 19, 2015
After a summer of mostly disappointing results, things started to fall into place in September. I played two events, never shot over par, was in the 60s for 6 of the 8 rounds, and was 24-under total! First was the European Tour's M2M Russian Open played outside Moscow, where I shot 71-69-68-68 for 8-under total and tied for 17th place. Two weeks later I played in first stage of European Tour Q-school in Austria near Vienna. There I shot 68-65-71-68 for 16-under and a four-shot victory! Of course its officially only medalist honors as its Qschool, but I'm still calling it a win!
With that I advance to 2nd stage in Europe to be played in Spain the first week of November with Final Stage the following week, also in Spain. I am also slated to play Web.com Qschool this fall; that 1st stage is October 20-23 in Dayton, NV. Unfortunately, if I earn a spot in Final Stage of the European Qschool, I will be unable to play in 2nd stage of Web.com Qschool as the dates conflict by a mere 12 hours. They must do that on purpose but don't ask me why.
Scores for Dayton Valley should be available HERE
Thanks for the support!
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Hello friends and family!
It's that time again for the monthly update, and this one being for the month of July. I hope this email finds everyone doing well!
In the last email, I left off at the Albertsons Boise Open. The course we played the tournament at is called Hillcrest Country Club, and it's a very short and flat golf course with the very classic look. Small greens that are mainly contoured from the back to front and all slightly elevated. Boise has some slight elevation - about 2,700 ft - and combine the warm weather equates to the ball going further. My caddie and I figured that the ball went about 5% further in the morning when there's a bit more humidity and 7% in the afternoon. The short course with little rough, and soft, smooth greens were a recipe for low scores.
Rounds of 69 and 68 left me missing the cut by one shot. Overall, I played really solid. A few wayward drives led to some bogeys, but ultimately it was the putter that let me down that week. The second round, I started off by hitting it OB, and then made birdie on my second ball to salvage a bogey. A few birdies and I was at 3 under for the day after the 12th hole. A drivable par 4 and an easily reachable par 5 were still to come. But after hitting my drive on the fringe on the drivable par 4, I did not get up and down. And after a perfect drive down the fairway on the par 5, I fanned a 4 iron to the right and did not get up and down for birdie. Those missed opportunities ultimately led to missing the cut, but it was a great experience because I am learning from those mistakes.
Sunset from the plane going from Boise to San Jose, CA.
The next week we were close to San Francisco in Hayward for the Stonebrae Classic. This golf course was literally built on the side of a huge hill. You can see the San Francisco skyline from the golf course. This golf course tested your ability to control distances on both iron shots and putts because of its extremely undulating greens.
A view down the fairway of the 2nd hole from the tee box.
This picture shows a bit of the changes in elevation we experience just walking the course.
There was a week off before the next event in Salt Lake City, Utah. I decided to go home to Seattle to spend time with family and friends and take a couple lessons from my coach, Joe Thiel. While up there, I played at Gold Mountain Golf Course, site of the 2006 USGA Public Links, where I qualified for my first ever USGA event. There was a picture of the stroke play portion of the scores in the clubhouse. Some recognizable names next to mine: a FedEx Cup champion and PGA Championship major winner.
Next up was the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank. This course was a new one on tour, and it's one of the longest courses we play on tour at 7,700 yards with a lot of forced carries. But being in Utah, the ball went a long way due to the elevation of about 4,400 ft. I was playing about 3% further in the morning and 7% in the afternoon. It had a few interesting holes, but overall a very solid course. The wind plays a definite factor, especially in the afternoon. The greens become further and much bumpier because of all the footprints. One must take advantage of playing in the morning when the greens are soft and smooth.
The 18th at Thanksgiving Point.
I ended up missing the cut by one shot shooting rounds of 72-72. I was thinking the cut was going to be at 2-under par, and I headed to the last at one under. Thinking I needed birdie, I split the fairway with a 7-wood. With only a sand wedge left, I missed the green to the right. My chip then ran past the hole about three and a half feet. Maybe I just lost my focus after missing the chip, but I ended up missing that short putt.
Next time, I'm not going to think about the cut and just play the game. Play till I finish, and whatever happens, happens. I was playing to make the cut, not to play my best. I'm sure my best would have been good enough. But again, lessons are learned through the mistakes and failures we make. That's only going to make me better and stronger.
Last week, we were in Kansas City for the Digital Ally Open. The golf course, Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate, is a great Nicklaus design course. Generous fairways and soft greens makes for a lot of birdies. A first round 6-under par 65 was the start I needed. A change in putter grip to the conventional style - from crosshanded - seemed to work as I made a lot of 15 footers for birdies. Rounds of 69-69-69 to finish the tournament led to a T-43rd. Some mental mistakes from frustration led to very little momentum and a lot more pars than I would have liked.
It is a long season, but we only have three tournaments left in the regular season. Currently, I am 40th on the money list. Top 25 after the season are guaranteed their PGA Tour cards. This week I am in Springfield, Missouri for the Price Cutter Charity Championship. Next week we are in Knoxville, Tennessee for the News Sentinel Open. And the following week we finish the regular season in Portland for the WinCo Foods Portland Open at famed Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
Always learning, always growing, always believing. It is much easier said than done, but I want to make it a goal to try my best and have the best attitude possible as I finish the regular season. I can only control that much. If I do that, then I can live with the results.
This month's newsletter was a bit long. Thanks for reading and I hope everybody has a fantastic August!
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Global Golf Post issued a nice article on alumnus Jerry Chang. The article details his decision not to turn professional after graduating and how he has stayed involved in golf despite his decision. Read the story here.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Golf.com recently published an article on Stanford Men's Golf alum and world speed golf champion, Eri Crum. Eri was a teammate of Tiger and recently began playing speed golf, where he has thrived. Read the article here.