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Local pro plays in Senior Open



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Zink consults his caddie for shot advice. Photo by Bill Stanisci (click for larger version)
July 25, 2012 - The 2012 Senior Open meant different things to different people - be it spectator, sponsor or enthusiast.

But for Indianwood Country Club Pro Dave Zink, the event became a throwback to his days doing what he does best - golf.

"It was fun - I had a good time both Saturday and Sunday," said Zink. "I think it was as fun for the member to watch me out there as it was for me, honestly it was a little embarrassing. I was really just there keeping score for the guy I was with, so the attention I got was just a little more than I expected. The members really had some fun with it."

Zink was afforded the opportunity after Russ Cochrane dropped out of the running for the Saturday and Sunday rounds. Zink said the likely reason is that Cochrane was due to play in the British Open and didn't want to take the chance at an injury. Because of the vacancy, Zink was asked to play with Kiyoshi Murota Saturday and Dave Eichleburger on Sunday.

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"They had asked me on Monday morning if I would play if an odd number made the cut," said Zink. "They would need a player to go out with the first group and I said yes because it sounded fun. By Sunday I was feeling a little differently because it had been such a long week for Indianwood - we were all tired. My job was to make sure everything in the merchandise tent sold so I was kind of happy I wasn't playing but then boom: they were looking for me."

Zink said the members who knew he was playing made sure to remind him they were watching.

"I had one group of members that rented a tent out on 18 and when I came up they had a sign that said 'Zink' on it and everyone started cheering," he said. "But then I made a birdie on the hole and that got a lot of cheers. Making a birdie in front of all the members was good - I got a kick out of it."

Zink continued, saying that playing alongside some of the pros in the open was an experience he hadn't expected.

"With (Murota),there wasn't a lot of conversation because he didn't know the language but he knew how to say good shot or good par, but that was really it," said Zink. "My caddie and I got a real kick out of him sometimes because every know and then he would hit a bad shot and I swear there were some Japanese swear words in there but he just laugh it off afterward."

Playing alongside Eichleburger, 68, a former senior open champion who was the oldest layer on the links that day, was fun as well.

While the opportunity was unique for Zink, this was hardly his first time on the links as a professional. Zink played in such notable tournaments as the 1984 Buick Open and the Kemper Open in 1980. Zink, who hadn't had a chance to see any golf until that point, was just happy to be" between the ropes" on the course.

"The golf course held up great with no wind and great playing conditions," he said. "I shot a 77 and a 79, but mostly I was just trying to stay out of the guys' way. For the first day I hit the 14th green in two and missed my second putt, but overall not too bad for not having even swung a golf club in the two and half weeks leading up to the open."

Laughing, he added he didn't know if he would have played better or worse if he would have truly tried.

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