Yikes. If you thought you had a rough day on the links, just be thankful you didn’t post it in a professional tournament, like Michael Bembenick did at the United Leasing Championship. Bembenick, a club pro from Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis, shot scores of 89-103 (originally, it said he shot 105 because apparently they had trouble adding all the strokes).
That’s a lot of strokes and how in the world did he qualify for the tournament? Well, the PGA club pro section in the area receives three spots in the field at Web.com Tour events. Which is another issue and point of grievance in itself, especially for Tour members with limited status who are trying to make a living, but we’ll save that for another time.
To be fair, Bembenick could have easily withdrawn due to some unexplained injury, which happens all the time on Tour, but he swallowed his pride and counted the 103 strokes he took over 18 holes at Victoria National Golf Club — he deserves plenty of credit for keeping a positive attitude.
“I think it’s important to lead by example and show the youth that no matter how bad you play, it’s important to finish,” he told Golf Channel. “No one likes to see a quitter. I know none of the members at my club or any students that I teach would want to see me quit.”
A native of Plymouth, Ind., Bembenick was named the 2012 Assistant Golf Professional of the Year in Indiana. With his Web.com Tour debut now complete in dramatic fashion, he opted to take an optimistic view of the day’s events, an attitude that could likely serve to benefit many players, professional or otherwise.
“It’s not much fun to shoot 103, but I still had fun,” he said. “Everyone has their good days and their bad days; you just have to keep your head in it, just keep plugging away and trying to get better.”
After seeing the reaction on Twitter unfold all afternoon, I feel bad for the guy. It’s not his fault he earned a spot in the field. Who wouldn’t play? Well, I’m sure a fair number of people wouldn’t for fear of embarrassing themselves. Bembenick gets props for having the courage to at least give it a shot — or 192 of them, but who’s counting?