A painful day for club pro comes to a merciful end
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- When a club professional has the media waiting to talk to him after a round at the PGA Championship it usually means one of two things: He did something particularly impressive or particularly heartbreaking.
For Doug Wade, the recently named head professional at Miami Valley GC in Dayton, Ohio, it was unfortunately the later Friday. Facing windier conditions than he can ever recall playing in, the 33-year-old Ohio State graduate playing in his first PGA limped home with a 21-over 93 in the second round at the Ocean Course to finish 36 holes at 32-over 176.
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With a bogey on the final hole, his seventh of the day to go with four double bogeys and two triple bogeys, Wade finished one stroke shy of tying the record for the highest round ever shot in the PGA (94, carded by Gary Campbell in 1977 and Tom Dolby in 2002).
Considering the circumstances, Wade was impressively calm and even self-deprecating when talking to reporters after such a trying round. Asked what was the best and worst part of the day, he quickly pointed out the former: "Finishing."
"Today was rough," he continued. "The wind got to me. It's just a long day. You get out there and there's nowhere to hide."
So when was the last time Wade could recall shooting a score that high? "I probably would have been about 14," he said. "It was before I got to high school."
With the winds gusting upwards of 25 miles per hour throughout the round, on a golf course that's hardly forgiving on even a calm day, Wade never could get comfortable with any facet of his game. In particular, the wind flustered him on the greens, where he said he missed six putts inside four feet.
"It's tough out there," said James Donaldson, Wade's playing partner, who was two under early in his round before finishing with a one-over 73. "If you're off your game, it's painful."
The humbling part of the experience? Two weeks earlier Wade shot a 65 in a PGA sectional event in Ohio, leaving him feeling confident about his game upon arriving in South Carolina, where roughly 30 friends and family were in attendance to see him play in his first major championship.
"It's obviously disappointing, but there's nothing you can do," Wade said. "I wish I could have played better. But that's golf."