Rob Labritz is the director of golf at GlenArbor in Bedford and is playing in his fourth PGA Championship this week at Oak Hill in Rochester. The 42-year-old resident of Pound is writing about his experience for The Journal News in a daily diary.
I was up early again on Tuesday and was on the Golf Channel talking with the Morning Drive hosts about being a club pro, hitting the shot I holed out to get into the PGA Championship, and the course. There have been so many great experiences this week and that was one of them.
Frank Darby hooked me up with Keegan Bradley on Monday, and we played a practice round this morning with Dustin Johnson and Jason Dufner.
It was incredibly awesome. Oh, man. It was probably one of the best things that could’ve happened to me.
I feel like I’m on top of my game, and got to see that I could play with these guys.
Keegan and I were partners and we lost to Dustin and Jason, but that really helped me feel totally comfortable heading into Thursday. I hit it just as good as they did. I putted just as good. I hit wedges just as good.
They were all great. Keegan is probably one of the nicest people on the earth. Dustin Johnson is a sweet guy. Dufner is probably one of the funniest dudes you’ll ever meet. The banter that went back and forth between him and Keegan was rapid fire the entire way. It was awesome to be a part of.
We were five down early on, and I finally made a birdie at No. 8. Keegan goes, ‘Hey, Rob, did I ever tell you the story about me being three down with five to play in this tournament called the PGA Championship a few years ago? I went by this guy named Dufner.
It was really fun to be part of that.
There is no way I can say enough about the experience, they are all just really awesome guys. Dustin absolutely murders the ball. Keegen, when he goes after it is really long. Dufner and I were pretty much right around each other.
I bogeyed 17 and 18, so I think I was 1-under. I lost $750, but the guys were really cool about that, asking what I’d be comfortable playing for. We settled on a number, and then they birdied the first five holes, but I walked away with so much respect for Keegan. He is the salt of the earth. He is a good dude.
There was time for more practice after we finished, and I’m hitting the ball as good as I can. I only missed three fairways today and left feeling like I’m just as good as they are.
Don’t get me wrong, they are three of the best players on the planet, but when my game is on I can be competitive. And that helped calm me down.