Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Updates as David Chung plays in the Masters Apr 4-11

From Masters.com
This blog tracks the preparation for and experience of playing in the Masters by Stanford's All-American junior David Chung.  New articles are published in reverse order with links to the full article available here featuring David's own blog written for the Masters.com.  This is the first time a current Stanford golfer will play in the Masters since Tiger Woods played in 1996.

I fought my butt off today trying to make the cut. I was hitting it really crappy but getting up‑and‑down from a lot of crazy places. And I finally had a birdie putt on the 18th, 6 feet, and I said, well, after I made all those par putts, this should be easy. But I just misjudged the speed. And it would have been awesome, but I still am happy with the way that I fought today.
I'll just remember the moments that I had with my caddie and my coach, as well, and just being out there just trying to take it all in. The patrons, they're just unbelievable, and it's fun to have such a large group of people reacting to your shots. I think that's just awesome.
And then just the mystique of Augusta National. It's a place like no other. I know that's a slogan, but it's really true. I just am really thankful to be a part of the amateur tradition here.
I was thinking about the cut, like it might be around 2-over. And I fought back, I made a good birdie on 13, I almost made a birdie on 14 and I was right in position to make a birdie on 15, and I just didn't capitalize. But I didn't have my swing at all today, and I fought really hard, and I'm proud of myself.
I think I'm going to stick around for the weekend, take in some more Masters atmosphere. When you're in the moment, it's hard to realize where you are, but once you're out of it, you look back and you say, "Wow, that really was a big moment," and I'm really thankful to be a part of it. It was just surreal that I was part of it.  Click to read the full article on Masters.com - David's Masters Diary - Battle Comes Up Short.
Masters.com photo - David on #3 in round 2. Click to enlarge

April 8 - Round 2 Results: David cards a 4-over 76 (39-37) with 5 bogies and 1 birdie on 13 leaving him tied for 64th, 3 shots above the record-low cut line of 1 over par.  His scorecards for each round is shown below.
Round 2 and 1 scorecards - click to enlarge
I shot 72, and all I can say is it was nerve-wracking on the first tee. We were the second group off, and so many people had already congregated around the tee box. I hit some good drives, I hit some squirrely drives. But I was in scoring mode today. I hit a lot of very good shots and was rewarded for that. I also hit a few bad shots. But I committed to it and willed out a good round.
My first drive, I hit it left into the trees. I had about 180 yards, and the only shot I had was high over the trees. But I decided to hit it short right and chipped it up and made about a 5-footer for par. First hole, I scraped it around, and it definitely was a confidence builder knowing I could manage the green and my short game. It definitely was a positive start.
It was surreal out there. I mean, I've never played in front of a crowd this big, and that first hole, I had a chip shot, and it seemed like the crowd was standing about four feet from me, like close enough where the chip shot actually could have hit them. It was much different, but at the same time it was really cool because if you hit a good drive or a good shot, then everybody would give you the oohs and the ahhs.
Actually, the course didn't play that hard today, because there were some receptive pins and there wasn't much wind. I got a nice tee time this morning. I was fortunate for that. The greens were good. The one thing I did very well today was birdying three of the four par 5s, which if you can score out here ‑‑ kind of play it safe and go for another birdie on the par 4s, but I played the rest of the way even.
I think my Masters moment struck me when I hit my drive a little bit right on No. 7 and it hit a branch, kicked down into the fairway. I had 230 yards to the hole, and that green is very shallow. I was approaching my shot, and I thought, "Where among those 5,000 people behind the green should I aim?" You couldn't see anything but the people. The flag was pretty much hidden, and I hit a nice shot with a hybrid up there like 15 feet.
I thought I didn't really waste any shots except for my bogeys at Nos. 17 and 18. I had about a 5‑footer down the hill I missed at No. 17. I played it to break left, and for some reason it went right. It's just those mysterious greens out there. Then I hit just a bad drive right into the trees at No. 18 and had to chip out. I screwed up the layup there. But it was a good day for my first Masters.  Click to see the article on Masters.com - Masters Diary - Nerves give way to solid round.

April 7 - Round 1 Results: David fires an even par 72 (36-36) with 3 birdies and 3 bogies leaving him tied for 31st overall, and tied for low amateur honors for the day.  After the front nine David's round was covered live online at Amen Corner as he got up and down on 11 from about 50 yards, birdied the par 5 13th with a rescue 2nd shot to the green and birdied the par 5 15th as well to go 2 under for the day.  He ended the round with bogies on the final two holes.  
Round 1 scorecard - click to enlarge
The Fayetteville Observer, David's hometown newspaper posted an excellent report of his round which is excerpted below:

AUGUSTA, Ga. - For 16 holes Thursday, David Chung competed like a veteran at the Masters instead of a college student playing in his first pro tournament. He was 2-under par and on the leaderboard.
But a wayward driver finally caught up to him on the final two holes and he finished with two bogeys to shoot an even-par 72.
It was still a great accomplishment for the 21-year-old from Fayetteville who put himself in position to make the cut today with another good round.
A junior at Stanford, Chung said he visualized shooting a 69 in the first round and he was on target to do it until the last two holes.
"I had it going and I thought it was going to be a reality," he said. "But I kind of messed up the last two holes. It was disappointing to finish with two bogeys. You dream of having a perfect round, and I had a pretty perfect round going until the last two holes."
The fact that Chung was 2-under through 16 was a testament to his scrambling ability. He was as much an escape artist as a golfer because his driver kept him in handcuffs and locked trunks.
It started on the first hole when he pulled his drive into the trees. He hit a 180-yard shot over the Georgia pines to just right of the green and got it up and down for par.
"Making that par was definitely a confidence-builder, knowing I could manage the greens with my short game," Chung said.
Highland Country Club pro Jens Klemsche was among a contingent of Fayetteville people in the gallery who followed Chung for all 18 holes.
"David has a world-class short game," Klemsche said. "One day at Highland, he was showing me a shot where he was short-sided and he had about 14 different ways to play it."

I played the Par 3 Contest, and the funniest thing was when I got to the ninth hole and I hadn't made a birdie yet. My dad, Chris, was my caddie, and he said, "God, make a birdie already, what are you doing?" I'm like, "OK," and I hit this exact shot that I had visualized, and it hit about 20 feet behind the hole, and I see it tracking back toward the hole, and I'm like, "Oh my God, it's going in!" And it just lipped out and stopped two feet away, and the crowd was like, "Oooohhhhhhhh!"
So then I have this really short putt, and go to my Dad, "Hey, why don't you putt it?" He's like, "OK, OK," but then he says, "I can't putt with your long putter. It feels really weird, I'm going to yip it." I'm like, "Dad, it's a foot and a half! You can make it!"
So we borrowed a putter from another player, and he got over it, he's sitting over it, and he makes this really quick backstroke, and he hits it in the dead-center of the cup. That was just great. I shot even par, and my dad made my only birdie.
It was a really cool day. So many people, all the kids were there … it was awesome.
I played 14 holes today, played the front nine by myself and then joined with Retief Goosen, Sean O'Hair and Charl Schwartzel for four or five holes. It was really good. Goosen hits it so hard and far, it's ridiculous. He's huge. In person, his upper body and arms have so much meat on them. Oh, and the guy can putt, too.
Read More - the complete article at Masters.com.

April 6 - Excerpted From the Fayetteville Observer: David vs. Goliath - Fayetteville Golfer Ready for shot at the Masters.
By Eddie Southards, The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
April 06--From the time his father first put a set of plastic golf clubs in his hands at the age of 10 months, David Chung has been preparing for golf's biggest stage. But the 21-year-old golfer from Fayetteville hardly seems fazed by it.
On Thursday, Chung will tee it up in the Super Bowl of golf -- the Masters in Augusta, Ga.
David qualified for the tournament by finishing as the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur in August.
"Hopefully, I play well. That would be a great thing. But I just want to soak up the experience," David said. "I don't think I will remember my score, but I will remember the people I meet, the things I do and the experiences I have."
Outwardly, David appears calm and poised. He speaks in low, measured tones about entering the game at its highest level. He is all business. He rarely cracks a smile when talking about it.
His mother, Elise Chung, is amazed at how her son has handled himself in pressure situations, playing in front of large crowds. He was the runner-up in the U.S. Junior Amateur, as well.
"What I'm most proud of is how he handles himself in that type of situation," she said. "It's just like a walk in the park to him. I can't believe that's my son. He's calmer than my husband or myself."
Top instruction
Maybe his poise comes from a lifetime of premier instruction. It started with Jens Klemschke, the head professional at Highland Country Club since 1997. Klemschke remembers watching David since he was 5 when his father, Chris Chung, would teach him how to hold the club.
"I knew almost immediately he was special," Klemschke said. "When he was 7 or 8, he was hitting golf shots most adults can't hit. It was amazing how the ball was coming off the club face."
David moved on to the late golf professional L.B. Floyd, who guided two other Fayetteville men, his son, Raymond, and Chip Beck, to successful careers in golf.
"Mr. Floyd worked with David when he was 9 or 10," Elise said. "He was the first one that said he was special. We thought he was just being nice."
David was home-schooled, which made it easier to accommodate his practice schedule. He entered a special program at Fayetteville Technical Community College when he was 14 to finish high school and attended a golf academy in Orlando, Fla., where school work and golf instruction were combined.
When it came time to pick a college, David had his choice of scholarship offers.
However, there was really only one college choice for David, who grew up idolizing former Stanford golfer Tiger Woods.
"He chose Stanford because Tiger did," Elise said. "When he visited Stanford, it was really special to him."

I'm really excited and ready to experience the Masters, pumped up to get it started. I went to Atlanta with my Mom after the Linger Longer college tournament last week, and I just chilled out for a couple days. I wanted to hang out, go to the mall, go to a movie, normal stuff like that. I'm going to get a lot of golf next week and don't want to overdo it. I just wanted to wind down, get ready to pack up for the Crow's Nest, and give my mind a little bit of rest, so when I start up, I'm fresh.
My Stanford coach, Conrad Ray, texted Tiger to see if he would be willing to play a practice round with me. I'm kind of anxious to see how that will turn out. There's nobody better to learn from than a past champion. I hope, maybe because Tiger's a Stanford alum, and he's played with other Stanford guys before at the U.S. Open in practice rounds, that he might want to do it. As a team, my freshman and sophomore year, he had us all over to his house for dinner when we played tournaments in Florida. It would be really cool … I'll be waiting for my coach to text me and let me know.
I talked a bit with my caddie, Rowdy, to get an update on how Augusta National is playing and how the conditions are changing every day. I also heard a really funny story about Billy Andrade when he was an amateur. When you walk down from the Crow's Nest, you can turn right or left. Well, Andrade turned left, went into a room and sat down with his oatmeal and fruit, and some of the other players started looking at him. It was the Champions locker room where some champions were sitting down having breakfast, and he's in there like he was one of them, not knowing he was in the wrong place. Finally, they say to him, 'You don't take a left when you come down the stairs. You turn right. You never go left.' It was kind of funny to hear, but it's good for me to know. I won't be making that mistake.  More - Click to read the entire article.

You won't believe this … I was at Augusta National this week!
It was such a great surprise from my parents. I had been so busy with finals at school; I hadn't made any plans for spring break. When I got home to North Carolina, they said, 'You're only going to be home for a couple days because we made a couple tee times for you.' My parents planned it out, set up everything.
I got here Tuesday and I stayed until Thursday. I came here with my Mom, Elise. It's the first time she's been here, and it was awesome to see her reaction. She was like, wow, this is amazing. She drove like 3 mph when we first came through the gate - you can drive a little bit faster than that - but she didn't want to leave Magnolia Lane. She came and walked with me on the golf course, and I think it was a little more hilly than she expected. My Dad's at home right now working to pay the bills so we can be down here, but he'll be with us for the tournament.
It was so nice. The weather is perfect, the course is beautiful. I went to the range in the morning, and it was heaven. I'd hit some balls, and 10 minutes later, all the balls were off the range and I had a new stack right next to me. Practice greens are almost always slower than on any course, but these putting and chipping greens are just as fast as we see out there. The grass is perfect; not a blade out of place. I feel bad taking divots. I might have to shallow out my swing plane and pick the ball more so I don't take any divots.
I played 18 holes, just dropping balls, chipping from different locations, like a normal practice round. There were quite a few other pros out here. I saw Alex Cejka, Jason Day, Stewart Cink and Paul Casey. I actually met Jason Day and talked with him a little bit. It was a really cool experience to see them all out here practicing and being a part of it.

I  just took my last final exam, so I'm done with school now. It was a three-hour final for my Communications class. You can use all the time if you need it, and I was writing until the last second. I'm not really good at gauging how much time I have on those things, and my hands hurt afterward! 
With my responsibility to the golf team and schoolwork, the Masters has been in the back of my mind. But I'm going to really have control over my practice schedule now, and I can devote all my time to preparing for the Masters.
I've been trying to absorb everything I can about the Masters, and it's surprising how much I learned and how much I think I know. From Roberto De Vicenzo signing the wrong scorecard, to Jack winning at 46 years old, to Freddie Couples hitting that shot that stayed up on 12, to Larry Mize chipping in to beat Greg Norman … there are so many memories. I think that's the case because the Masters is played on one prestigious course. You're exposed to different characters, but it's the same scene, the same backdrop. It seems like I know so much about the place because I've seen so many highlights and watched so many tournaments.
I think that can translate into how I approach things. It's definitely an attribute. I can go back to look at what shots to practice, what lies you might get, what pin placements everybody sees. It's such a broad database to draw from, just a great source of information for me. You still have to hit the shots, of course, but at least you know what you have to do.
I've gleaned a couple things from other players. Anthony Kim has been very generous in being somewhat of a mentor on how to approach the Masters, the mindset you need, how there are no expectations, how to just go in there and play fearlessly. Nathan Smith - I've talked to him about what it's like to be in the Crow's Nest, what it's like to be in crowds that large. From Gabriel Hjertstedt - he's my chipping coach - I learned about little shots you need to hit around the greens, the tightness of the lies, how I'll need to utilize the bump and run more but still put spin on the ball. It's a different repertoire of shots you need to have.  More -Click to read the complete article.

March 12 - From David's Masters diary comes this article entitled Great Expectations .  "I sat down and talked with my Stanford coaches Conrad Ray and Philip Rowe this week about my preparations for Augusta, and it really got my mind thinking about what to expect, all the variables, how I really need to take control of my schedule. What I can do right now to prepare and focus, how things are going to be so much different from a college tournament - the crowds, the Crow's Nest, everything. It's about all the things you're used to watching on television, but now to go and live that and experience it live. I've played in front of crowds, maybe one or two thousand people at the U.S. Amateur, but to have that many or more on every hole will be something I have to be ready for.
Rowdy Dunn, who caddied for me there when I played a practice round over winter break, was talking about the noise and the galleries, how it's the best feeling in the world for a golfer, how they roar even in the practice rounds. How you can feed off the crowd when you hit good shots, how on the really good ones they'll go crazy for you. The galleries are very generous, so when things aren't going so good they'll still be behind you.
I got to visit the Crow's Nest on my trip to Augusta, got to check out where things are in the room, what the setup is. As long as I finish the week not tripping over the ladder going up to the Nest, I'll be OK. It's kind of a tight fit up there, and I'm very groggy in the morning, so I'll have to pay extra attention when I'm walking down that thing. My coaches suggested I arrange my dorm room to look like the Crow's Nest so I'd be acclimated to it. It's an interesting thought, because when Tiger was here at Stanford, he went to the basketball court at Maples Pavilion and putted on the wood surface because there weren't any greens fast enough to simulate what he would see at the Masters. It's a great story, so maybe it would be a good idea to arrange my room like the Crow's Nest, who knows?".  More --- Read the complete article

March 5 - From David's Masters diary comes this article entitled The Buildup.  Everybody is just so excited, and I can feel things starting to build up. But I know I'll have to keep it simple once I get to Augusta. I know there are going to be a lot of different distractions, and it will be important to control the external factors. I go to a college tournament and basically we're chaperoned around everywhere, so we just have to show up and play golf, that's it. But when I go to the Masters Tournament, all that stuff that professionals are used to, that really comes naturally for them, it will be something all new for me.
My dad has rented a house, so he'll be handling that and taking care of everybody there. I'll be staying in the Crow's Nest, of course, and I can't even describe what that's going to be like. All the tradition and history that goes with playing the Masters as an amateur is so amazing to me.
I've talked to my mom and sister about what I should wear, and we decided they will pick out my clothes each day. Actually, they decided to handle all my outfits. My sister says I'm a fashion disaster. They'll probably pick out something that matches the azaleas and all the different colors of the course. I really don't know what to expect. I'm going to put on whatever they give me.
My roommate, Quan Bui, at Stanford will be there, and it's kind of cool how that happened. He's great about following my career, so when I played in the U.S. Amateur, we had an ongoing bet and agreed if I made it to the finals and got a Masters invitation, he'd go with me. Every time I won, all he said was, 'Keep going, one more match, one more match!' I was more nervous in the semifinal match than I was in the final!
You really do think about the Masters all the time as an amateur, and as I got closer I couldn't keep it off my mind. When I came back to campus, he took me out and bought me a steak dinner. I got his ticket for him, and it was great. He might be more excited than anybody.  More ---- Read the complete article.

The official Masters website has released this first article written by Stanford junior  David Chung about his invitation to play in this year's event April 4-11.

Photo from Masters.com - click to enlarge
David Chung, 21, received an invitation to the 2011 Masters as the runner-up in the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship. Chung, from Fayetteville, N.C., is a junior Communications major at Stanford University where he was an All-American choice last season. He also won the Porter Cup and Western Amateur in 2010. Chung is sharing his thoughts on his Masters debut through tournament week with Masters.com's Tom Spousta:

"You dream about getting that invitation to play in the Masters Tournament, and it's really something you strive to achieve. The moment of realization - it's almost surreal, because it's hard to believe. But when you see the letter and the paper, and the words written on it, you realize, it really is true. It was awesome. 
Everybody was asking me to see the invitation. The first thing I wanted to do was show it to my dad, Chris. I wanted to honor him by showing it to him first. This whole process has been so much a part of what he was able to do for me in order to play golf. I'm really proud to have it pay off. I'm happy that I achieved what we had worked so hard for.

He and my mom, Elise, were very happy and proud. The invitation went to my parent's house. I was home for winter break, and I opened it first and showed it to them."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments below.