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Muttitt knows only to expect a major adventure

David Muttitt, Los Altos teaching pro, is shown playing at the New Mexico Open last Sept. 10. Muttitt earned yet another bid into the PGA Championship by his high finish in the PGA Professional player rankings.(Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

David Muttitt, a teaching pro at Los Altos Golf Course, will play in the PGA Championship for the fifth time, but he knows this will be a major not like any other.

Sure, Muttitt, who tees off at 10:12 a.m. (Mountain time) on Thursday, is excited to compete against some of the best golfers in the world. However, he’s uncertain about how the week will play out.

The PGA Championship will be held without spectators for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is the first major of the year, followed by the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in September and the Masters in November, two weeks before Thanksgiving.

This week’s event has the strongest field of the majors.

“It’s going to be different than any of the others, that’s for sure,” said Muttitt, who played in the PGA Championship in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018. His best finish in the major was in 2013 when he missed the cut by two shots.

“I don’t know what it’s going to be like. It’s going to be strange.”

The 2020 PGA Professional Championship was canceled in June, so the PGA Championship instead took the top 20 from the 2019 PGA Professional Player of the Year rankings. Muttitt, after winning the Sun Country PGA Section Professional Championship for the fifth time, finished No. 13 in 2019. He actually missed the cut at the 2019 PGA Professional Championship.

“You could have a bad day and that can happen easily,” Muttitt said during a recent phone interview. “That’s golf.”

But Muttitt, 37, who played for New Mexico Military Institute, has experienced great days on the golf course, when it seems like he’s hitting every ball where he wants to and making every putt.

“Yeah, I can,” he said. “But not as often as I used to.”

He continues to deal with a troublesome back and is concerned about the chilly temperatures this week, a forecast in the mid 50s to low 60s, at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Muttitt left Albuquerque on Saturday. He said only his girlfriend and his caddy, UNM alumnus Mike Sauer, would be accompanying him. No family or friends are allowed on the golf course. Muttitt saw that as a positive – he did not have to worry about gettings tickets for anyone.

Muttitt said a caddy and two swing coaches for each golfer are allowed.

Just then, a voice chimed in from the background of the phone call.

“Can I be your swing coach?”

It was Muttitt’s son Charlie, who is 10.

Muttitt has stayed busy during the coronavirus pandemic, spending time with his son. He’s also been teaching juniors at Los Altos the past couple months, one instructor to five juniors.

In addition, this year, Muttitt is the tournament director for the Albuquerque Men’s City Championship, Aug. 21-23 at Ladera, Arroyo del Oso, and Los Altos golf courses.

While Muttitt is gone, Colby Reddoch, the head pro at Los Altos, will be helping out.

With all the work, Muttitt hasn’t been able to play much, or compete in tournaments, since March when the coronavirus shut down most events. He said he’s not too worried about that.

“I just want to be comfortable and just play golf, play golf freely,” he said of his goal at the PGA Championship. “If I can be in the right frame of mind, that’s all I ask. You’re not going to hit every shot. You’re not going to make every putt. But if I can just be in a good frame of mind – confident, I think I can do pretty well.”

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