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SANTA ANA PUEBLO – Sometimes golf is just about holding the line and waiting for better days.
Such was the case Friday for Cameron Doan.
A native New Mexican originally from Silver City, Doan had some trouble controlling his irons during the second round of the Senior PGA Professional Championship tournament for those 50 and older.
“My golf swing wasn’t as good (Friday) as it was (Thursday),” he said after shooting a 2-under 70 at Twin Warriors. “So it was kind of a street fight. The putter and the woods bailed me out for sure.”
Still, he sits in a fourth-place tie at 8-under 136, five strokes behind leader Steve Schneiter of Sandy, Utah.
At stake for Doan and a contingent of other New Mexicans in the field of 50-and-older players vying for a first-place winner’s check of $26,000 and a total purse of $318,000.
Friday was cut-down day, with 256-man field reduced the low 90 players. The field will be further reduced to the low 70 players for Sunday’s final round, both of which are being played at Twin Warriors.
Santa Fe’s Brad Lardon is tied for sixth at 7-under after a 70 Friday. Jeff Roth from Farmington is tied for 12th at 5-under and Albuquerque’s Steve Manning is at 4-under and tied for 15th.
While the cash payout is nice, perhaps the bigger prize, Doan said, is finishing among the top 35 when the dust settles Sunday to earn a berth in the Senior PGA Championship next spring in Frisco, Texas.
“I think that’s everybody’s first goal,” he said.
For Doan, however, getting a chance to come back to his home state and compete at elevation for the first time in more than a decade was a nice bonus.
“I don’t know about expectations, but I always look forward to coming back to New Mexico,” he said. “So my attitude was strong and I started putting good in the practice round on Tuesday, and it stuck.”
Doan grew up on Silver City’s nine-hole course where his dad was the head pro and the course superintendent.
“During the summers, the course was the babysitter for my younger brother and me,” he said.
He won the Class 1A-3A individual state championship in 1985 as a Silver High junior, but the summer before his senior year of high school, Doan’s father took a job at a course in Roswell. He stayed behind for the fall semester to play football, helping the Colts reach the state championship game.
After graduating from Goddard, where he played golf in the spring, helping the Rockets to win a state title, Doan took to the links at UTEP. After graduating in 1991, he went back to work with his dad before taking a position as an assistant pro at El Paso Country Club.
After three years, Doan was elevated to head pro, then moved onto the Preston Trail Golf Club in the Dallas Metroplex where he has remained.
He entered this tournament a year ago and played all four days but finished outside of the target group of the top-35. This year, however, outside of a serious meltdown, Doan appears well on his way to checking off that goal.
“My job is not to get too far in front of myself,” he said. “I still need to take it one shot one at a time. It’s still the best way to play. That’s what I’ll try to do.
“We’re in good shape at halftime.”