PINEHURST, N.C. - Exactly one week after he finished the Long Island Open, Matt Dobyns began the U.S. Open. He went into the latter with the same approach and confidence that he always brings to the former, and it worked out fine. The head pro at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success had no double bogeys, shot 4-over-par 74 and left himself in position to make the cut.
"I don't see any reason why I can't shoot even par here. If I shoot even par, I have a good chance to make the cut," he said after his first U.S. Open round, which was much less stressful than his two rounds at the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. Back then, he was making his first appearance in a major and was the reigning national club pro champion.
"There was a lot less going on around me this week. Here, I'm just another qualifier," he said.
It was just hard to make birdie putts on the tough greens at Pinehurst No. 2 (he finally made one on No. 16). Dobyns was pleased with how he rebounded from consecutive bogeys on Nos. 5 and 6. "I was really able to enjoy it," he said.
Even before Thursday, he had made a name for himself here. According to golfweek.com, PGA Tour player J.B. Holmes told his equipment representative that he had played a practice round with a club pro "who outdrove me by 25, 30 yards on every hole." The representative said: "I know who it is. It's Matt Dobyns."
Henrik a fan of Henrik
Henrik Norlander, a Swede who attended Augusta State and led for part of the morning, said he was impressed with how well countryman Henrik Lundqvist played for the Rangers on Wednesday night. "He usually does," Norlander said after shooting par 70.
"He actually played for a team on the west coast [of Sweden] that I don't really like. I'm from Stockholm. But he's a great ambassador for Swedish athletes, for sure."