UTA men's golf coach Stuart Deane opened with an ever-par 70 in Thursday's opening round at the AT&T Byron Nelson, putting him in decent shape to make the 36-hole cut if he can duplicate the feat in Friday's second round. Video by Jimmy Burch jburch@star-telegram.com
UTA men's golf coach Stuart Deane opened with an ever-par 70 in Thursday's opening round at the AT&T Byron Nelson, putting him in decent shape to make the 36-hole cut if he can duplicate the feat in Friday's second round. Video by Jimmy Burch jburch@star-telegram.com

Golf

UT Arlington golf has brush with greatness on eve of PGA Championship

By Roger Pinckney

rpinckney@star-telegram.com

August 09, 2017 10:43 PM

The UT Arlington golf program is making quite an impression at this week’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.

Stuart Deane, UTA’s director of golf, qualified for the PGA Championship for the second time by finishing in the top 20 at the PGA Professional Championship last month in Oregon.

Mavericks redshirt freshman golfer Zach Cole is serving as Deane’s caddie, and former UTA golfer Greg Gregory also is set to tee off Thursday during the first round.

But perhaps the most exciting event occurred during Wednesday’s practice round, according to a UTA athletics report.

Deane and Cole, who were starting play on the 14th hole, joined the world’s top-ranked golfer, Dustin Johnson, as he was coming off the 13th green.

The UTA duo finished the back nine with Johnson in final preparations for the tournament.

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“It was awesome getting to meet the No. 1 player in the world and actually getting to see in person how he hits it and (how he prepares),” Cole told UTA in the report.

What made the encounter even more thrilling for Cole is that his wish of playing with Johnson came true, according to the UTA report.

“(Tuesday) night (Zach) said, ‘Coach, I think about the only thing you can do to top this is play with Dustin Johnson,’ ” Deane said. “We got that done, too.”

Cole, a graduate of Fort Worth Arlington Heights, took over caddie duties this week from Deane’s wife, Elizabeth, who was on the bag for the PGA Professional Championship.

“Being here at the PGA Championship is incredible, a dream come true,” Cole said. “This is the best experience of my life so far.”

Deane, a native of Brisbane, Australia, who has played in 10 PGA Tour events including this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson, is scheduled to tee off at 6:25 a.m. Thursday on the 10th hole as part of a group with 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Shane Lowry of Ireland and Pablo Larrazabal of Spain.

Gregory opens the first round at 8:10 a.m. on the No. 1 tee.

The first two rounds Thursday and Friday will be televised from noon-6 p.m. on TNT.

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