Paul Dickinson of the United States, PGA of America Club...

Paul Dickinson of the United States, PGA of America Club Professional, plays his shot from the 12th tee during the first round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 19, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Credit: Getty Images/Ezra Shaw

Paul Dickinson missed the cut at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, but the experience of playing in his first major championship at the age of 45 was priceless.

The Montauk native and teaching pro at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton shot a 7-over-par 77 on Friday following a 78 on Thursday on a course that was just a beast for him. But it was worth everything that it took for him to get there.

“The experience, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” Dickinson said. “It was extremely exhilarating.”

Dickinson qualified for the PGA by finishing in the top 20 of the PGA Professional Championship in April. It was pretty overwhelming when he first got to Southern Hills in Tulsa, the scale of the tournament far bigger than anything he ever experienced.

But he was helped immensely after his first two practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday by hooking up with two-time major winner and Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson. When Dickinson was chasing tour dreams in his 20s, he became friends with Johnson and traveled with him some. On Wednesday afternoon, Johnson asked him if he wanted to play a practice round.

“That was perfect,” Dickinson said. “That was huge for me to play with the Ryder Cup captain. That settled me down.”

As for playing the course,  his game wasn’t particularly suited for it.

“I play a game where I hit the ball very low because I played a lot of my golf in the winter time in Montauk in the wind,” Dickinson said. “This course is designed for the exact opposite ball flight, hit it high and hit it long, which is the way they play on the PGA Tour.”

As for his two rounds with tour players Luke List and Patton Kizzire, Dickinson said, “They were very welcoming, very kind.”

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