Dodge Kemmer is confident of retaining his full Asian Tour card this year but is glad to have the Asian Development Tour (ADT) as an “insurance policy” to fall back on if need be.
The 34-year-old American has flown into Phuket for the second half of the ADT’s Beautiful Thailand Swing (BTS) after earning a share of 63rd place at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open, a traditional main tour stop in Seoul, last week.
Kemmer has Q-school graduate status that will get him into most of the Asian Tour’s full-field events in 2022 but is still happy bouncing between the main and development tours to make the most of his time away from home south of San Francisco.
After capturing the ADT’s season-opening Gurugram Challenge in India in March, the Stanford University alumni has been focused on the main tour so missed the first half of the BTS at Laguna Phuket Golf. He surrendered the ADT Order of Merit (OOM) lead to Laguna Phuket Cup champion Sarun Sirithon in the process but will look to regain top spot as one of the favourites for the Blue Canyon Classic starting Friday.
“I felt like I played a lot better than I scored and finished,” Kemmer said of his rounds of 72-72-76-74 to finish 10-over par at Namseoul Country Club.
“It was a really tricky course, it was my first time there, so I’d like to think it was a bit of a learning curve, especially on the greens. But I was happy with how I hit it and how I putted really and just didn’t quite get the scores to match up.”
Learning to adapt to different conditions on the fly is all part of the deal for a touring pro and something Kemmer has gotten better at it after first coming to Asia in 2012.
“Changing grasses and countries and climates, yeah it is a challenge,” he said. “But I’ve been doing it for so long I know it’s a challenge and it’s one of the first things I look at when I get to the courses, you know check the weather, the grass and start chipping as soon as I get there to kind of get in that country’s mode, that grasses mode. It still takes a couple of days but hopefully it’s a bit better than when I started out.”
Kemmer is currently 39th on the Asian Tour OOM but is still searching for a win on the main circuit. He came close in 2017 with a third-place finish at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open where he banked $22,750, his biggest Asian Tour payday to date.
He believes the ADT win at Classic Golf & Country Club in Gurgaon makes an Asian Tour breakthrough all the more likely.
“The win in India was great for the confidence. I knew I was playing well and had it in there somewhere but struggled a little bit the week before on the Asian Tour [T-49 at the DGC Open] so to play well and win the next week, it really helped the confidence.
“I feel like I can play well anywhere after that. I’ve just got to keep believing that it’s in there despite some bad rounds and bad shots and hopefully it comes out sooner rather than later.”
Kemmer starts the week at Blue Canyon Country Club US$3,037 adrift of Sirithon in the ADT money standings.
The Beautiful Thailand Swing is being co-sanctioned by the MENA Tour which has its own OOM race going down to the wire. With the two Blue Canyon events to decide the 2020+ Journey to Jordan race, Laguna Phuket Challenge winner Tom Sloman is just $562 ahead of fellow Englishman David Langley.
After missing the cut in the last event, David Hague will be looking to rekindle his J2J hopes in this week’s 54-hole event while another Englishman, Bailey Gill, and Frenchman Victor Rui are both still in the OOM hunt with positions inside the top 10.