Saturday, November 24, 2012

On Different Continents & Tours, Miller & Kemmer Advance

Zack Miller (2007, pictured left) will join Joseph Bramlett (2010) and Alex Aragon (2000) in the Final Stage of Qualifying School.  Miller competed at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, CA and finished 13th with a four round, 6-under par total of 282.  Andrew Yun, who was also in the field at Bear Creek, missed advancing after finishing 61st with an 8-over par total of 296.

Sihwan Kim (2011) and Notah Begay (1995), who competed in Florida but in separate events, both missed advancing.  Kim missed by one stroke after finishing 22nd with a four round, 7-under par total of 281.  Begay finished 56th with a four round, 3-under par total of 281 missing by 7 strokes.

The Final Stage of Qualifying School begins November 28th in La Quinta, CA.  You may follow the results online through the PGA Tour's website.

Dodge Kemmer (2009, pictured right) continued his solid play internationally.  Kemmer advanced to the final stage of European Tour Qualifying School.  Kemmer's four round, 6-under par total of 278 in 2nd stage forced a playoff with 5 others vying for the final two qualifying spots.  Kemmer holed a birdie putt on the first hole of the playoff to advance.  The Final Stage begins November 24th in Girona, Spain.  You can follow Kemmer's progress online through the European Tour's Qualifying website.

Monday, October 29, 2012

5 former Stanford players are still hoping to make the PGA Tour in 2013

The PGA Tour's Qualifying process has been underway for more than a month and there are now 5 former Stanford golfers still alive with a chance to earn a PGA Tour card for 2013.  A total of 10 Stanford alums began the process.  All the results thus far can be found at the PGA Tours website --

The ten players who started the process were Zack Miller, Joseph Bramlett, Alex Aragon, Andrew Yun, David Chung, Steve Ziegler, Jordan Cox, Dodge Kemmer, Sihwan Kim and Joel Kribel.  The results of each players's qualifying efforts thus far can be found below.

All began a difficult process to try to advance to the Final Stage of the PGA Qualifying tournament to be held Nov 28-Dec 3 at the PGA West Nicklaus Course in La Quinta, CA.  At the Final Stage of qualifying, players will be competing for 25 PGA Tour cards with most of the remaining players in the Final Stage field earning some status on the important tour, the primary stepping stone to PGA Tour play.  Background info on all the Stanford players can be found at  

 The five who still are competing for PGA Tour and Tour privileges are Zack Miller, Joseph Bramlett, Alex Aragon, Andrew Yun and Sihwan Kim.

Zack Miller, a 2007 graduate and 2-time All-American, played on this year's PGA Tour and is currently 198th on the money list with $137,112 in winnings.  As a current PGA Tour member, Zack will be exempt until the Final Stage of qualifying at PGA West Nov. 28-Dec 3.

Joseph Bramlett, a 2010 graduate and former 2nd team All-American, competed on the tour in 2012 after playing on the PGA Tour in 2011.  Joseph just missed earning his PGA Tour card this season, awarded to the top 25 money winners, as he finished 28th on the money list earning $177,973, only about $4,000 behind the cut-off to earn a Tour card.  Because of his high finish, Joseph is exempt until the Final Stage of qualifying at PGA West.

Alex Aragon, a 2001 graduate, also competed on the tour in 2012 after earning his tour card as Joseph did in 2011.  Alex also missed earning his PGA Tour card this season as he finished 33rd on the money list earning $161.544, about $20,000 behind the cut-off to earn a Tour card.  Because of his high finish, Alex is also exempt until the Final Stage of qualifying at PGA West.

Andrew Yun, a rising senior at Stanford and 2-time All-American, has not played with the team this fall in order to try to qualify and thus far he has had great success.  His process began as Andrew finished 2nd in one of the many newly created pre-qualifying tournaments around the country when he shot 67-72-66 at the PGA West Greg Norman Course in September 19-21 (the low 39 and ties moved on).  Next up for Andrew was first stage qualifying at Oak Valley CC in Beaumont, CA Oct 24-27 where again he finished 2nd with rounds of 69-68-72-70 (low 18 and ties advanced).  Next up will be 2nd stage qualifying in mid-November at one of 6 sites around the country, most likely at Bear Creek CC in Murrieta, CA.

Sihwan Kim, a 2011 graduate and former 1st team All-American, tied for 1st in first stage qualifying at Grasslands CC in Lakeland, Florida, with rounds of 64-65-68-71.  As with Andrew, Sihwan will move to one of the 2nd stage qualifying sites, likely in Florida, in mid-November.

Dodge Kemmer, a 2009 graduate, played in a first stage qualifier in Lewisville, Texas, and missed qualifying by only 1 shot after rounds of 75-77-68-70.  Next year Dodge will likely pursue play in Asia or Europe as he did in 2012 with good success.

Steve Ziegler, a 2011 graduate and 2-time All-American, played in a first stage qualifier in Dayton, Nevada, and missed advancing by only 2 shots after rounds of 67-75-69-74.  Steve will likely pursue on one of the US mini-tours in 2013.

David Chung, a 2012 graduate and 2010 All-American, played in a first stage qualifier at Florence, South Carolina, and missed advancing by 4 shots after rounds of 68-70-71-72.  David will be pursuing his professional career in 2013 on a mini-tour in a location to be determined.

Joel Kribel, a 1999 graduate and 4-time All-American, played in a first stage qualifier at San Juan Oaks, California, and missed advancing by 6 shots after rounds of 74-70-67-73.  Joel, living in the Scottsdale area, will likely be pursuing his professional career in 2013 on a mini-tour in a location to be determined.

Jordan Cox, a 2010, played in a first stage qualifier at Madison, Mississippi, and missed advancing by 8 shots after rounds of 69-71-72-72.  Jordan will likely be pursuing his professional career in 2013 on a mini-tour in a location to be determined.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Will Yanagisawa Overseas

Will Yanagisawa The Open - Asia Final Qualifying: Day 1Will Yanagisawa (1995), former Stanford All-American and NCAA team champion, writes about his professional golf travels overseas.  Next up for Will is the China Open in Tianjin, China April 19th to the 22nd.  Follow his progress at  Go Will!

Ten thousand and four miles, eighteen hours eleven minutes in the air on a direct shot going five hundred fifty miles per hour.  That's the distance and time it would take to fly from Johor Bahru, Malaysia (which was my location) to Augusta, Georgia in the event I was to get a last minute invitation to the place with gentle piano music, Azaleas, Magnolias and a golf hole named "Chinese Fir".  The invitation didn't arrive so I was happy to make due w/ my afternoon start at the Johor Golf Club.

Formerly, "Royal" Johor Golf Club, this gem of a course is located just outside of Johor Bahru City which is a mere thirty minute taxi ride over the causeway from Singapore.  It costs $50 Singapore dollars to have a specially designated "Singapore-Malaysia" taxi make the journey.  Once in Johor City it's another seven minute, 8-20 Malaysian Ringit taxi to the clubhouse.  Taxi's in Malaysia will invariably meander along the "scenic" route unless otherwise specified, running up the meter and separating a few extra ringit from the unsuspecting tourists' wallet.  A guy tried this on me one day.  Upon arrival he said, "Twenty ringit, sir."  I said, "I've been here for three days, making two trips a day and it's never been more than nine."  He didn't even bother to take me on the scenic route.  I gave him nine, told him Allah is watching and went our separate ways.

"Royal" designations like those found on courses such as The Royal and Ancient Club of St. Andrews, Royal Calcutta, Royal Liverpool, Royal County Downes or Royal Colwood are granted by requesting a special charter from the Crown.  Apparently, upon approval, the club gets a letter from Buckingham Palace that says it's o.k. to put "Royal" on the score cards and sign boards.  Not sure what would de-list a course from the "Royal" designation but when I played the Iskandar Johor Open in 2009 (where KJ Choi emerged the victor) we played the Royal Johor Golf Club.  Last week we played Johor Golf Club.  

All said, it was the same course I remembered from 2009 complete with narrow fairways, elevated tees, blind second shots to severely pitched greens that tilted from front to back (!).  Jungle was never very far from a wayward wood or iron and the native cow grass made chipping an extra delicate affair.  Staying below the hole helped maintain sanity, especially on holes nine and eighteen.  In the above mentioned Johor Open, I saw a guy four tap from inside 3 feet on 18 to make the cut on the number.  The fourth was from a foot above the hole and it was the best putt I hit all week!

Rainfall in Johor this time of year has to be in "the meters", creating soft raised collars.  This combined w/ sloped, firm greens made front pin locations difficult to attack.  Play it too fine and it plugs short, hit it hole high and it bunny hops into places where only local monkeys feel safe.  After 72 holes, I stood -3 which was good for a T4th finish and a fist full of ringit.

Next up is the China Open in Tianjin, China (April 19-22).  I'll be giving it my best against the flashy buckle, tight shirts on the European Tour and the mostly Australian contingent of the OneAsia (or "G'die Myte") Tour.  Followed by the opening event on the China PGA Tour. 

Follow it online at or  China Tour events at

Thanks for reading...catch up again soon!



Monday, April 9, 2012

Donald Kennedy, member of the 1939 national championship team passes at 93


 A member of the 1939 Stanford national championship golf team, Donald P. Kennedy, passed away recently at the age of 93. Kennedy graduated from Stanford in 1940 and went on to a long and successful business career.  The following press release was from First American Financial, a major corporation that Kennedy built into a large company.  Here's a link to the history of Stanford golfers from 1930 to today where you will find info about his late 1930s teammates.  Here's a timeline with photos and comments from those who knew him provided by First American.

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF - News), a leading global provider of title insurance and settlement services for real estate transactions, today announced that its Chairman Emeritus Donald P. Kennedy passed away on March 24 at the age of 93.

During his career with First American, Kennedy helped to lead the company's extraordinary growth from a one-office firm in Santa Ana into a global FORTUNE® 500 company and helped introduce many of the technological innovations that transformed the title insurance industry. (Photo:

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Don Kennedy," said Dennis J. Gilmore, chief executive officer for First American. "Don was a true visionary and a man of tremendous integrity who was admired by all those who knew him. While we will greatly miss his wise counsel and quick wit, he leaves behind a legacy of creativity and innovation that will always remain with our company." When Kennedy began leading First American's expansion efforts in 1957, the company's revenues were less than $1.5 million. By 2006, they exceeded $8 billion. In a spin-off transaction completed in 2010, First American's data businesses became a separate company known as CoreLogic. First American and CoreLogic are now traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

 The grandson of First American's founder, C.E. Parker, Kennedy served First American for more than 60 years. He is credited with beginning the company's expansion efforts in 1957 with the acquisition of title companies outside the Santa Ana area. Kennedy's strategy of allowing the leadership of each First American office to operate as if it was its own company played a key role in driving this expansion and the company's profitability. First American continued to grow in later decades through international expansion and through the addition of other businesses whose products and services were involved in the real estate transaction process. In 1985, the company began developing and acquiring extensive databases of real property information, and offered products and services using this data. Parker S. Kennedy, First American's chairman and Donald Kennedy's son, stated, "When Dad started with First American, the company had one office in one county and now it has hundreds of offices throughout the world. He saw the opportunity for growth and worked tirelessly to create a great company. I couldn't have asked for a better dad and the company couldn't have had a better leader." Donald Kennedy, whose family roots in Orange County date to 1873, attended Santa Ana High School and graduated from Stanford University in 1940.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, where he took part in the landings in Southern France, he graduated from the University of Southern California School of Law. Kennedy joined First American in 1948, when it was known as Orange County Title Company. After passing the bar exam in 1949, he served as the company's associate counsel for three years, then was appointed vice president of First American in 1951, executive vice president in 1958, president in 1963, and chairman of the board in 1993. He was named chairman emeritus in 2003, a title he maintained after retiring from the board of directors in 2008. Kennedy also served as vice chairman of First American's principal subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company. He consistently went to his office at First American's Santa Ana campus until he was 90 years old. Kennedy has left an indelible mark not only on First American, but also on the title insurance industry, helping to usher in many of the advancements and practices that are commonplace today. Among his many professional affiliations, Kennedy served as president of both the California Land Title Association and the American Land Title Association, and chaired numerous committees in both organizations.

A lifelong philanthropist, Kennedy's extensive involvement in community affairs included support of dozens of organizations focused on Orange County and Santa Ana. A past chairman of the Orange County Business Committee for the Arts, Kennedy also served on the boards of South Coast Repertory and the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, among others. When serving on the board at Bowers, he was instrumental in negotiating the museum's partnerships with the Smithsonian Institution and the British Museum. His support for the museum's north wing, which was named the Dorothy and Donald Kennedy Wing in 2007, tripled the size of its exhibit space.

He served on the board of trustees for Chapman University and was a member of Stanford University's Athletic Board, as well. Kennedy also provided key support for the creation of the Chapman University School of Law and was recognized in 1999 with the dedication of the Donald P. Kennedy Hall, a state-of-the-art teaching facility and home of the university's school of law. That same year he was named "Man of the Century" by Orange Coast Magazine. An avid life-long golfer, Kennedy scored his first hole-in-one in 1930 at the age of 12, and went on to score eight more over the next seven decades. Kennedy was a member of Stanford University's 1939 NCAA championship golf team and also was an active member of the Santa Ana Country Club for most of his life. When elected as the club's president in 1952, he was the youngest person to have served in that capacity.

Kennedy is survived by his wife of 65 years, Dorothy; his son, Parker S. Kennedy; two daughters, Elizabeth Myers and Amy Healey; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. For more information on Kennedy's life, please visit

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Strong Finish for Sihwan Kim

Sihwan Kim (2011) finished 3rd, earning $11,486, in this past week's eGolf Professional Tour's Palmetto Hall Championship on Hilton Head Island.  Kim fired rounds of 70, 71, 67, 71 for a 4-day, 9-under par total of 279, just two shots behind champion Brent Delahoussaye.  To read more click here.

In other alumni news, Alex Aragon (2000), Zack Miller (2007) and Joseph Bramlett (2010) opened their 2012 campaigns on the Nationwide Tour at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship in Bogota, Colombia.  Aragon finished 65th, earning $1,650, after rounds of 71, 70, 74 and 75 for a 4-day, 6-over par total of 290.  Miller and Bramlett missed the 2-day cut.  All three are scheduled to play March 1st-4th in the next Nationwide Tour event, the Panama Claro Championship in Panama City, Panama.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Alumni Update: California Coast and Beyond

Four Cardinal, Notah Begay (1995), Tiger Woods, Zack Miller (2007) and Joseph Bramlett (2010), competed in this past week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.  Woods grabbed headlines as he tried to claim his first PGA Tour title in over two years.  Woods, playing alongside eventual winner Phil Mickelson, struggled on Sunday with a 3-over par 75 to finish t15.  Bramlett, seeking his first PGA title, momentarily climbed into 3rd on the leaderboard by reaching 11-under on Saturday.  Unfortunately, Bramlett struggled in the later stages of Saturday's round and closed with a 75 Sunday to finish t40.  Both Begay and Miller missed the 3-day cut.

In other alumni news, Will Yanagisawa (1995) and Dodge Kemmer (2009) are grabbing attention overseas.  Yanagisawa (pictured below) won this past November on the China PGA Tour in Chongqing, China closing with a final round 67 to win by one.

Earlier this year Kemmer (pictured below) fired rounds of 66, 70, 69 and 71 to finish t2 in Asian Tour Qualifying School in Thailand.  Kemmer's 2011 and 2012 professional golf travels have taken him around the world competing in events in North America, Africa, Europe and Asia.  In his most recent event, the ICTSI Philippine Open, Kemmer struggled to a t74 finish.