Daniel stands in front of his score after winning the Junior Club Championship.
Daniel won the Junior Club Championship at his home course last month, shooting a 162, 18 over par for the two-day tournament.
The championship didn’t start very well for Daniel. He was six-over par through six holes after making a bogey, a par, three more bogeys and a double bogey. Pars on holes seven through nine left him with a six-over par 42 on the front nine.
A key hole for Daniel on the first day was the par four, 10th, a slight dogleg left with water on the left and a hazard guarding the front of the green. He popped up a three-wood on his tee shot, leaving himself with about 190 yard shot.
Daniel considered hitting a seven-wood, but it would have been a long carry over the hazard to a small green. He decided instead to lay up short of the hazard, where he pitched onto the green and made a 10-foot putt for par.
Two bogeys and three pars over the next five holes left Daniel 10 over par with three holes to play. He hit his tee shot in the water on the par-three 16th and made double bogey, but parred the last two holes.
Just after he finished the first round, Daniel jokingly said he would probably be leading the tournament. When all the scores were in his 10-over par, 82, was a stroke better than the next closest competitor.
Daniel was supposed to tee off just after 1 p.m. on the second day of the championship but a strong rain storm came through the area in the morning. The weather cleared, and his group started the round at about 1:30 p.m.
The final round did not begin well for Daniel. He hooked his first tee shot into a hazard and ended up with a double bogey on the hole.
One of Daniel’s two playing partners started the day a stroke behind. He parred the first hole to go from one shot behind Daniel to one shot ahead.
A bogey on the second hole meant Daniel still trailed by one, but birdies on the next two holes put him back in the lead.
Daniel shot a 42 on the front nine for the second day in a row. The player who was a stroke behind shot a 45 to fall behind by four, but Daniel’s other playing partner shot a 39 to move into a tie with Daniel after starting three strokes back.
Neither Daniel or his fellow competitor knew it at the time, but they were both a stroke behind after the turn. Two players in the group behind them shot one over par, 37s, on the front. One of them started four shots behind Daniel, so he was leading by a stroke after nine holes. The other player who shot a 37 started six shots back and was two strokes out of the lead and one stroke behind Daniel through 27 holes of the tournament.
Daniel three-putted for bogey on the first two holes of the back nine, but then ran off a string of seven straight pars to finish with a 38 coming in and an eight over par, 80, for the day. He was ahead of both his playing partners, but did not know how the other players were doing.
When Daniel turned in his scorecard, he found out about the two other players making the turn in 37. We rode on a cart to watch them finish their rounds. We knew that one of them would need to shot a 39 on the back to tie Daniel. The other needed a 37.
On the 18th hole, one of the players had about a 15-foot par putt that lipped out. We found out a short while later that the putt would have tied Daniel if it went in. He ended up winning by a stroke.
Daniel kept his composure throughout the tournament even when he didn’t hit his best shots. He made smart decisions and never made worse than a double bogey.
The back nine on the second day played a major role in Daniel’s victory. Consistency was the key during the final stretch. Daniel kept hitting good drives and approach shots that led to pars. He hit eight of nine greens in regulation over the last nine holes.
That solid play won him the championship.
Here’s a recap of Daniel’s two rounds in the 2012 junior club championship
Round 1 on Saturday, Aug. 18
1. Popped up his drive with a driver on a downhill dogleg to the right. Ended up short and to the right with a tree impeding his approach. Hit a low fade with a three wood to just in front of the green. Chipped up to about 18 feet. Two putt for bogey.
2. Another dogleg to the right. Hit driver that went up the right side and bounced over a bunker. Had about 100 yards left. Hit approach to about 20 feet. Two putt for par.
3. Hit a low tee shot with his driver that ended up on the middle of the fairway. Approach with a 7 iron to 25 feet, just off the green, putted on then two putted for bogey.
4. Long drive up the right just missed two bunkers and stayed in the rough on par 5. Second shot into the trees on the right. Third shot faded around some trees and ended up just short of the green. chipped on but well short, 2 putted for bogey.
5. Hit a four iron short of bunkers to the right of the par 3. hit wedge to 15 feet, 2 putt for bogey.
6. Hit trees on right with his driver. Ball came down just in front of a stick. Carefully removed stick without moving the ball, but a small pine cone was just behind the ball. Hit a three wood that just barely made it to the fairway. Left with 190 yards uphill for his third. Hit short and right. Chipped up. Two putts for double bogey.
7. Three wood to the left side of the fairway. pitching wedge to just under 20 feet but off the green, putted on and made that for par.
8. Tee shot ended up just short of the green on par 3. Chipped up to about a foot and tapped in for par.
9. Driver off the tee to the left side of the fairway on par 5 with water on the left and guarding the green. Popped up a three-wood that just barely made it across the water. Hit his pitch shot short of the green. Chipped up to … Six-over, 42 on the front.
10. Popped up his tee shot. Laid up short of the hazard. Pitched to about 10 feet. Made the putt for par.
11. Short tee shot. Four iron just cleared the hazard. Chipped up. 2 putted for bogey.
12. Beautiful tee shot up the right side. Pitched to about 8 feet. Missed the putt. Par.
13. Hit the green, about 30 feet from the hole on par 3. Two putt for par.
14. Tee shot to the middle of the fairway. Sand wedge to 20 feet. 2 putt par.
15. Tee shot to the right rough on par 5. Poor 3 wood in front of left fairway bunker well short. Hit to the right of the green and in the rough. Chipped up, 2 putted for bogey.
16. Tee shot hit short of the green on par 3 and bounced in the water. Dropped and pitched onto the green. Two putts for double bogey.
17. Long tee shot to the middle of the fairway. Approach to about 15 feet. Two putts for par.
18. Tee shot up the left side on par 5 with water on the left. Laid up in the fairway. Hit the green. Two putts for par. Four-over 40 on the back.
Ten over 82 total for first day. One stroke lead.
Round 2 on Sunday. Round scheduled to start at 1:09 p.m. Delayed for about 15-20 minutes due to rain.
1. Hit a three wood off the tee into the hazard on the left. Dropped and hit to about 100 yards. Fourth shot to the right of the green, just off. putted on to 4 feet and made that for double bogey.
2. Tee shot up the right side missed the bunker but barely stayed in some bark chips. Punch shot with a six iron went over the green into a bunker. Shot out of wet sand short of the green. putted on to 8 feet and a great putt for bogey.
3. Long tee shot to the middle of the fairway. Pitching wedge to about 10 feet. Made the putt for birdie.
4. Tee shot was not long but in the left center of the fairway on par five dogleg right. Crunched a three-wood to about 100 yards. Pitch shot to 5 feet. Made the putt for birdie.
5. Four iron into the bunker short and right of the green on par 3. Shot from the sand landed on the top edge of the bunker and stopped. A frog jumped around the ball just before he hit his third. Finally hit just barely short of the green. one putt on and one putt in for double bogey.
6. Tee shot just missed trees on the left and ended up in the middle of the fairway. Second shot to uphill green into the bunker short and right. Blasted out to about 12 feet. Two putts for bogey.
7. Tee shot with a driver up the left side. Approach to 10 feet. Two putts for par.
8. Left tee shot in rough short and right of the green on par 3. Chip shot came up short. Three putts for double bogey.
9. Tee shot into the middle of the fairway on par 5 with water on the left. Three wood over the water to just short of the green. Chipped up. Two putts for par. Six over, 42 on the front.
(NOTE: At this point Daniel was tied with one of his playing partners who started the day three shots back and shot a 39 on the front. His other playing partner started the day one shot back and shot a 45 to trail by four shots. Daniel wouldn’t find out till after his round, but two of his teammates from his school team both made the turn with one-over, 37s. One of them trailed trailed by four shots starting the day, which put him in the lead at the turn. The other was six shots back starting the day, so he was two back of the lead and one behind Daniel.)
10. Daniel hit a three wood off the tee to the right side of the fairway, avoiding water on the left. Approach just stayed on the back side of the green but was up against the collar. Left his first put about 10 feet short. Missed the second. Bogey.
11. Tee shot into the right side of the fairway. Didn’t catch a four-iron approach well, but landed on the front right of the green. Left about a 60 foot putt about 10 feet short. Missed the second putt. Bogey.
12. Tee shot up the left side of the fairway left him with a good angle to the pin in the back of the green. Approach left about a 10 foot downhill putt for birdie. Left it short. Par.
13. Tee shot to the front of the green left about a 25-foot, hard breaking right to left uphill putt. Just missed on the high side. Par.
14. Tee shot long and up the right side. Approach left about a 15 foot way uphill putt. Just short. Par.
15. Tee shot on par 5 into the rough just short off a mound on the right side. Poor three wood left him about 190 yards to the green. Seven-wood to the right side of the green about 40 feet away. Two putts. Par.
16. Great tee shot hit the green and left him with a downhill 12-footer. Just short. Par.
17. Rain started walking to the tee. Tee shot in the rough on the left. Approach in the driving rain just off the back. Putt from off the green short and to the right. Par.
18. Drive just left of center on par 5. Laid up with a six iron to about 100 yards. Approach to about 10 feet. Just missed the birdie putt. Par.
Two over, 38 on the back. Eight-over, 80 for the round. 18-over, 162 for the tournament.
Watched the other players finish. The school teammate who had taken the lead at the turn had about a 15 foot putt for par that would have tied Daniel and forced a playoff. Lipped it out.