Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dodge Kemmer (09) becomes 1st American to win on the PGA EuroPro Tour

More news from Dodge Kemmer ('09) about his recent play in Europe and the US:

  -KLM Open
  -EuroPro Integral Collection Classic
  -European Tour School Stage 1
  -Midland Qualifier
  -Fry's Qualifier
  -US Tour School Stage 1

My first event since joining ISM was also the biggest tournament I've played in to date, the European Tour's KLM Open. It began with a direct, 10 hour flight from San Francisco to Amsterdam, arriving the Sunday morning of tournament week.  Most Dutch speak quite a bit of English so I wasn't as lost as I was expecting.  What had been Holland's rainiest summer on record never cared to let up in consideration of the KLM Open, and I spent the whole week soaked.  I played well in round 1 (and birdied my first hole ever on the European Tour), but could never keep anything going; I followed nearly every birdie by a bogey or other missed opportunity.  I did get to -2 through 15 holes, only to lose a ball in small shrubs on my 16th, make double bogey, and finish at even 70.  Due to rain delays, my second round did not start until 5:30pm on Friday, after the course and greens had taken a day of rain, half the field twice and the other half once (close to 200 rounds), and it showed.  Any putt over 2 feet was a crap-shoot.  Needless to say, I didnt make anything and played the seven holes of that day +2.  The cut was most likely going to be level par, so I had 10 holes to get at least back to that mark.  I birdied my first hole of the day (no. 8), but bogeyed 10 and 11. Birdies on 14 and 18 weren't enough to do the job and I missed the cut by a shot.

While I didn't play terrific, I didn't play terrible either; it wouldn't have taken much to go from missing the cut to within a few of the lead after 36.  If nothing else, I proved to myself and others that I can compete and belong at that level.

I then flew to Manchester, England, which would be my home-base for the next two weeks.  I rented a car and drove--on the wrong side of the road--to every tournament and back, mostly without incident.  The first week I played in a EuroPro (British mini-tour) event, the Integral Collection Classic in Saltburn-by-the-sea in North Yorkshire.  It was played at Hunley Hall, a links-style course overlooking the North Sea, and fully exposed to the wind and cold that sea is known for.  The first two rounds each had their bright spots, and I shot 70-68 (-6) to be tied for the lead going into the last round, which was cold and windy--again.  I played well on the front nine, and shot -4 despite missing a 3-footer for birdie on 7, and had a 3-shot lead with 9 to go.  My competitor then made some bogeys to give me a 6-shot lead with three to go; I finished -3 for the day and -9 for the week, 5 shots clear of 2nd place.  I believe I held the all-time record for winning percentage in UK, for the next week.  I made a speech, which no one in the audience could understand (I had ordered a club sandwich earlier in the week, and was then served a ham sandwich), and was awarded a trophy and £10,000.

Next stop was Stage 1 of European Tour School at Wychwood Park, about 30 minutes south of Manchester.  The weather was about the same--cold and windy--but the course was more demanding, especially off the tee.  As q-schools go, it was rather uneventful--which is the best kind--and I shot rounds of 67-72-73-70 to finish -6 and in 2nd place.  I was never worse than t3 (after round 1), and 25 guys advanced, so it was pretty stress-free. 2nd stage is not until late November, and conflicts with Final Stage of PGA Q-school, so if things go as planned, I won't get to return for Stage 2.

Mission complete in England, I flew back to the States Saturday night (barely escaping some of the $470 baggage fees on Continental), and tried to be ready to play the Midland, TX Nationwide qualifier Monday.  I played well enough for 16 holes (including 7 birdies), but made double-bogey on my 8th hole, and bogey on my last, a par 5 from just off the green in 2, to miss a playoff by 2 shots. 

I finally made it back to San Francisco Tuesday night, but had to drive to Napa to play the Open pre-Monday-qualifier.  I managed to struggle around in -2, somehow staying awake the entire 5+ hours and advanced to the Monday qualifier at Bayonet Golf Course.  Top 4 from there will earn spots in the Open next Thursday through Sunday.

After that, next up is First stage of PGA QSchool at Dayton Valley Golf Course, just outside Carson City, NV, October 18-21.

Dodge Kemmer became the first American to win on the PGA EuroPro Tour after he powered to victory in the Integral Collection Classic.  Here is how the EuroPro Tour reported on Dodge's win:

California-based Kemmer, 24, won the event, the penultimate one of the season, as he finished five shots clear of Jon White (Saunton GC) at the Hunley Hotel and Golf Club in North Yorkshire.
Dodge Kemmer with the trophy.
Dodge Kemmer with the trophy.
“I hit the ball well on the first day and putted well on the second with a little bit of both on the third,” said Kemmer, who was ranked inside the top 20 in the world amateur rankings before turning professional in 2010.
“I came over to play in the KLM Open (on the European Tour) last week and am playing again next week so I wanted something to play in this week.
“It’s definitely helped with my experience and I won’t get to play as well as this at every course. The Tour is great, well run and everyone I spoke to has been really nice so it’s been a great experience.
"This victory is definitely near the top of my achievements. I’ve only had a couple of wins playing professionally and this was one of my best showings.
"Every day I did something really well and today in the front nine I put it all together and never had to panic. It’s good to know my game is good enough to win and is a good confidence boost going into Tour School.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

2009 grad Dodge Kemmer reports on his golf pro activities

A couple of weeks ago 2009 graduate Dodge Kemmer updated the coaches about recent activities in his young professional golf career.  Dodge was co-captain of the 2009 team and a human biology major, one of the most demanding of all majors so he took his studies very seriously.  Dodge was a member of the 2008 national runner-up team, and after a solid senior season with the golf team returned for another school year to complete his degree.  Dodge continued to work on his golf game and had solid success on the amateur circuit and decided to turn pro after school ended.

Here is Dodge's recent report:

Much has happened since the year 1 review that I am excited to report.  In early August, my dad and I flew to Atlanta for PGA Championship week to meet with Chubby Chandler of International Sports Management (ISM). After meeting with Chubby Thursday at the PGA and Friday evening over a Guinness (or two), we made a deal to work together to advance my golf career domestically and internationally.  Chubby and ISM ( are based out of Manchester, England and deal with administration issues such as sponsors exemptions / invites into tournaments and corporate sponsorship.  They have an office in Palm Beach, FL as well, where my player manager is based.  She organizes all tournament and travel logistics in the US and can take care of just about anything I can think of here.  More on how this affects my immediate future below.

After my unsuccessful bid in Lawrence to qualify for the Kansas City nationwide, I flew to Canada to play in the Canadian Tour Championship at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ontario.  Ambassador is a links-style course used to strong winds, which, if blowing in certain directions make the course play very difficult.  Sadly, however, what wind was blowing was from the opposite direction, making the course as easy as possible; effectively changing the par from 71 to 68 (on sunday I hit pitching wedge, 5 iron, and 7 iron into the three par-5's).  Round one I hit every green until my last, missed a lot of putts early, and was even through 12 holes. Then I went birdie-birdie-par-eagle-birdie to get to -5 only to bogey my last hole and finish at 67 (-4).  This put me in a mediocre t17, 4 shots behind two guys who shot 63.  The next day I hit the ball a little worse but made more putts and despite bogeying the par-5 13th (which is more like a double-bogey), I shot 66 (-5) and moved into t8.  The weekend didnt see any improvement: I started hitting it poorly and not knowing where to expect a miss, which makes it hard to pick a safe line and shot. However, I had fewer three-putts and missed short putts on the weekend which somewhat made up for my ball striking. I recorded a pair of 69's (-2 but effectively +1), and finished t10, good for $4,800. I finished the year in 17th on the order of merit with $22,937.50 in 6 events.

Yesterday morning, after just arriving home, I received a call from my player manager, Andrea, informing me that they had been able to acquire an invite to the European Tour's KLM Open in Hilversum, The Netherlands (  I will be flying from San Fransisco to Amsterdam this Saturday afternoon and begin the event Thursday. I havent seen the TV schedule but I would imagine there is a good chance it is on the golf channel! I will then play the European Tour QSchool 1st stage in Manchester England September 20-23.  I'm still waiting to hear about Midland, TX nationwide and the Fry' Open PGA exemptions, which would be my next stops in the states.