Las Vegas, Nevada (August 22, 2010)–It wasn’t the score Las Vegas golf teaching professional Kim Dolan wanted at all. At 81-79—160, Dolan failed to make the cut at the recent U.S. Senior Open. But, that wasn’t the point. Sure all the players dream about making the cut and hoisting the championship trophy, but for Dolan, it was all about the experience. And the chance to prove to himself he’s still got game.–by Bill Bowman
It was a job well done. “It was a lot of fun,” Dolan said of the spot he earned in the recent U.S. Senior Open held at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash. The tournament, won by Bernhard Langer for his second straight Champions Tour major, left a lasting impression on Dolan. “I had practice time with Tommy Armour (III) and Hal Sutton one day and Sutton and John Cook one day so it was just a great experience.”
The course itself did take a toll on Dolan. “It was a tremendously tough course,” said Dolan, who has been teaching at Las Vegas’ Siena Golf Club for seven years and in the instruction business for the past 26 years. “It was simple…if you didn’t hit it straight, you were in deep trouble. In fat Bernhard Langer said it was the toughest course they play all year.” Dolan didn’t make excuses for his higher-than-hoped scores. In fact, it was just the opposite. “I really played better than I scored,” Dolan said. “I hit the ball well and there were only a couple of rough spots where I didn’t hit it well. I’ll also admit I didn’t putt very well. I hit everything right over the edge. I couldn’t get anything to drop.”
But, it didn’t dampen his enthusiasm…or his drive to return to the spotlight. “I just had a great time and I’d love to get back and play another one.” He did take a moment to compare his game to those who play the tour for a living. “That’s easy,” Dolan said. “They have much more consistency. When I hit a bad one, it’s bad. When they hit a bad one, it’s not quite as bad. And they get it up-and-down a lot more often.” Dolan’s qualifying for the event met with great response from the Vegas golf community. “It is quite an honor to have one of our local PGA Professionals, Kim Dolan, qualify for an event of this magnitude,” said Chris Cain, Director of UNLV’s PGA Golf Management Program. “PGA Professionals work tireless hours to help promote the game of golf, to have the ability and work ethic to be a leader in the business and play the game at this level is a testament to Kim and our profession.”Click now for more news about Las Vegas pro golfers.
In the end, the competitive juices—and the confidence—are still there and Dolan hopes to earn a spot in another big tournament. “I don’t think I’d be as nervous next time,” he said. “But on the first and 10th tees, with all the people watching and when they call your name…I hit it right down the middle. That was great. I’m used to seeing it on TV and not being there so it was quite an experience.” And there was one more highlight of the tournament he will never forget. “I made the first birdie of the tournament,” he said. “And after six holes I was tied with a bunch of guys on top of the leaderboard at one-under. It went away, but it was a pretty special feeling seeing my name up there.”