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Ben Martin’s Bethpage Blog

June 21, 2009

“It was disappointing to miss the cut on Saturday afternoon after I was under the cutline for most of the first two rounds, but as I look back on it, it was the best golfing experience of my life. To be around all those professionals for a week and see how they practiced and conducted themselves was an invaluable learning experience.

“I tried to observe as much as I could about the professionals practice habits, whether it be putting, fairways shots, and drives. It is obvious that they spend a lot of time on the short game.

“It was great to be a part of this. We were treated in a first class manner all week. Every player got to use a Lexus for the week to go back and forth from the course. I am currently driving home to Greenwood, SC on Sunday and it sure would be nice to have that Lexus right now. That was a smooth ride.

“I got a few hats and shirts from the merchandise tent so I have some memories of this week. I know my parents must have spent some big money in that tent also. My family enjoyed the week very much.

“My fondest memory of the week was leading the tournament for about an hour on Thursday. I will always remember seeing my name at the top of that leader board and that is something a lot of very good golfers don’t get to do.

“I didn’t play well on Saturday (8 over par 78) and missed the cut, but that shot on 17 was memorable. There is a great crowd there and to hit it to a foot and make a birdie, that was a lot of fun. I am told they showed the shot on NBC.

“Overall, my biggest problems were hitting in the rough off the tee. I had trouble getting it to the green when I did that. And, on the green, I had problems at times reading the speeds. It will prepare me for the next time.

“I want to thank my caddie, Michael Sims for all his help this week. He is driving back to South Carolina with me today. He did a great job learning the course and he was very helpful picking up targets off the tee.

“Today (Sunday) is the first day in 21 days that I haven’t played. We left New York about 8:30 AM and hope to get home to Greenwood by about 10:00 PM. I need a week off. Then it will be back to the amateur schedule with the Dogwood Invitational in Atlanta, then on to the Players Amateur in Hilton Head.

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