MICHAEL CARMAN ON GOLF: Year in review: Part 1

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE and welcome to part one of my annual look back at the year in golf.

I enjoy the contemplative nature of this time of year, beginnings and endings all intertwined.

These two columns — today’s, which touches on the major happenings in the North Olympic Peninsula golf scene from January to June, and next week’s New Year’s Day column where I revisit July through December — are two of my more enjoyable pieces of the year.

I get to reread, remember and utter a few “Oh, yeahs” as a I recall these memorable moments.

January

I started the year with a column and some photos of the new clubhouse and Soren’s Cafe at SkyRidge.

Jeff Pedersen and the SkyRidge gang did a wonderful job creating a warm, welcoming environment for golfers to come in and spend some time out of the Sequim weather.

Decorative touches inside the clubhouse — such as an electric fireplace in the pro shop with a glowing fire, Sequim High School purple-and-gold glass light fixtures over the bar, an antique jukebox and large flat-screen televisions — add to the homey feel.

Opening this clubhouse has surely been a boon to the North Olympic Peninsula golfing community.

SkyRidge celebrated its 10th anniversary in June.

February

Not the typical time for a course record, with wind and wet fairways mucking up many a round.

Don’t tell that to Eric Nelson, a former Chimacum High School golf standout, who broke the course record at Port Ludlow after notching a 61 on Feb. 9.

Nelson was a putting machine all day, needing just 23 total putts over the 18 holes to craft the 11-under-par round on the Tide and Timber nines.

Nelson’s round was witnessed by Port Ludlow assistant pro Adam Barrows, himself a former Chimacum golfer, former Port Townsend High School golfer Sean Anderson and Chris Holloway.

Back in February, I asked Nelson how his playing partners were treating him during the round, especially down the stretch with the record in reach.

Were they giving him a wide berth, like a baseball team does to a pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter?

“They were quiet for the most part,” Nelson said. “But when I was making putts, they were going off and we’re just as excited as I was.”

Just your average, run-of-the-mill course-record 61.

March

Shakespeare advised to “beware the Ides of March,” but Cedars at Dungeness member Robert Chamberlin will forever embrace March 15, the date of his second hole-in-one in just seven days.

The Sequim golfer collected his second ace with his now “lucky” 6-iron on the 139-yard No. 8 hole at Dungeness.

His 6-iron also was in his hands when he launched his first hole-in-one March 8 on the course’s 140-yard fourth hole.

Chamberlin told me back in March that he had no plans to bronze and display the productive club.

His second single was witnessed by his brother, Jim Chamberlin, and Bill Rucker.

Neither shot produced instant euphoria; in both cases pin placement and contours of the greens shielded Chamberlin and his playing partners from seeing the shots drop into the hole.

These were aces of the “walk up and find it” variety. Surprise. Surprise.

April

Australian Adam Scott claimed his nation’s first green jacket, edging out Argentine Angel Cabrera for the Masters Tournament title at Augusta National.

It was a fantastic ending: Nobody limping to the finish, both players giving us their every bit of effort and such a fine display of sportsmanship and respect between the two competitors.

Scott and Cabrera both birdied the 72nd hole to finish tied for the lead at 9-under-par 279.

Cabrera hit his approach shot to 3 feet from the pin, and Scott rolled in a 25-footer.

The sudden-death playoff began at the 18th hole, where Scott and Cabrera both scrambled for par from just short of the green, with Cabrera’s chip nearly holing out.

They then played the 10th hole, where both were in the fairway then on the green in regulation. Cabrera’s long putt was close but no cigar (get it?) and Scott sank his 15-footer for the win.

May

The Port Angeles High School boys golf team fell just short of its goal of finishing in the top three at state, placing fourth in the state tournament at Chambers Bay in University Place in late May.

The Roughriders fourth-place finish was the best in coach Mark Mitrovich’s 27 years at Port Angeles.

Chimacum’s boys, coached by Mitch Black, tied for sixth place in the 1A championships.

Senior Joe Barnes of Port Angeles, a two-time Olympic League MVP, finished in a tie for 15th place to pace the Riders, while Garrett Payton tied for 25th and sophomore Alex Atwell tied for 29th.

Austin Underwood and Micah Needham missed the first-day cut for the final round at Chambers Bay.

Dana Fox of Port Angeles, meanwhile, had the top area finish for a 2A golfer as she tied for 14th place in the girls state championship at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway.

Kevin Miller had the best finish for the Cowboys, tying for eighth place at 155, with rounds of 75 and 80.

Chimacum’s Nathan Browning tied for 32nd place by shooting 169, 83 in the first round and 86 during the second and final round.

Riley Downs of Chimacum missed the first-day cut by just one stroke with an 86.

June

Justin Rose became the first Englishman to win a U.S. Open title in 43 years after he bested Phil Mickelson at Merion in June.

After tapping the ball into the final hole, Rose, 32, raised his fingers to the sky in memory of his father Ken, who died from leukemia in 2002.

“Father’s Day was not lost on me today. You don’t have opportunities to really dedicate a win to someone you love. And today was about him and being Father’s Day,” he said.

Enjoy the time you spend with your families today, and go play some golf tomorrow.

_______

Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or pdngolf@gmail.com.

Last modified: December 24. 2013 7:58PM
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