2012 Year in Review.....June #2. Watertown’s Ian Marshall takes on the best at the Travelers. Story by John Nestor
POSTED December 27, 2012
CROMWELL - Ian Marshall got a chance to test himself at the highest level of golf at the Travelers Championship and he savored every moment.
The head pro at Watertown Golf Club, Marshall earned a spot in the field and teed it up with some of the biggest names in golf at TPC River Highlands.
There was U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson, 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar and Padraig Harrington among others in a field that also included Marshall.
Marshall qualified by earning the lone spot allocated to the Connecticut Section PGA by winning the Spring Stroke Play championship last month. He didn’t make the cut, but that hardly took away from the accomplishment and experience.
“I got to play on the top stage of the game, that’s No. 1 on the list of highlights in my career,” Marshall said. “It was a great experience and one I’ll always remember.”
An opening 77 was a pretty good showing considering the nerves Marshall must have been feeling as well as the oppressive heat. His second round didn’t go quite as well but it wasn’t all bad either.
“The play wasn’t what I wanted but for being a club pro and being out here, I had a good time,” Marshall said. “I was disappointed in some of the shots I hit but I also hit some good ones out there. I felt comfortable and I just tried to soak it all in an enjoy it.”
Some of the good shots included a birdie at the par-3 eighth hole on Thursday, one of only 15 on the day. On Friday, Marshall laced a 4-iron from a fairway bunker over 200 yards with his ball coming to rest just off the back of the green.
“The birdie was a high point for sure, and I hit a lot of shots I won‘t forget.” Marshall said. “The 4-iron, my caddie John said it’s the right club, trust it and hit it and I did. My playing partners even said it was a nice shot and to hear it from them was pretty cool.”
Another aspect of the week that was pretty cool for Marshall was the amount of support he received. A number of family and friends turned out as well as other fans just rooting on the local pro.
“Having my family, my two boys, my wife and my dad out here with me was great,” Marshall said. “ had a lot of support from the club and had a lot of people out. It was a great experience. It’s great to feel that. To have a lot of support is fun.”
It wasn’t all fun as Marshall also used the week as a learning experience. The biggest thing that caught his attention while around the tour pros boils down to focus.
“The one thing that stands out the most is the concentration level in all these players,” Marshall said. “They are all so focused and in the moment over every shot. It just reinforced the lesson of staying patient, staying focused on whatever the task at hand is.”
Marshall didn’t rule out trying to make it back next year but for now it’s back to Watertown Golf Club with the memories of a great week.
He stared with a practice session Monday and played an 18-hole practice round with Brandt Jobe, Tom Gillis and Hunter Haas on Tuesday.
“That in itself was pretty cool,” Marshall said of the practice round. “I maybe was more nervous for that than the actual tournament round.”
More practice Tuesday was followed by 9 holes in the junior Pro-Am Tuesday evening. Marshall took Wednesday off, practiced Thursday, ate lunch and then got into his routine to go out and play.
“Just to be around something like this, a PGA Tour event in my home state, it was great to be a part of,” Marshall said. “I’ll never forget it.”