COLUMBUS, Ohio — By all accounts Davis Chatfield was having one of, if not his best round of the season during Saturday’s third-round action at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, but he was about to be put to the test.
Chatfield had just birdied the demanding par-4 14th hole and hit the fairway on 15 before finding the front-right bunker.
Immediately Chatfield went to work, nearly holing the bunker shot and keeping the round going.
“Mentally, I thought I could still make that up and down and keep the round going,” he said. “I almost holed the bunker shot, so I was proud of that sequence of events and didn’t let that one shot get to me after everything was going my way for 14 holes.”
On a day when much of the field was giving back, Chatfield posted a 4-under 67 and with play still unfolding at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course, he may just put himself in contention.
“We’ve been asking for hard courses the whole year so to finally have it, I’m sure some guys don’t want it anymore, but I grew up playing a hard course, so I’m kind of used to it,” stated Chatfield. “I like it when par is a great score.”
If the name Davis Chatfield sounds familiar to Pittsburgh area golf fans, it ties back to his Notre Dame teammate Palmer Jackson, a Murrysville native.
Together the pair reached the semifinal round at the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball event, ousting the defending champions during the journey.
Palmer further gave back to his teammate during the 2021 U.S. Amateur, which occurred at Oakmont Country Club — and was covered by Pittsburgh Golf Now.
The U.S. Amateur has consistently been Chatfield’s favorite week of the summer, because playing on a good course was a given and if a golfer played well, they would be rewarded.
Chatfield truly enjoyed playing Oakmont, but there was one issue, at least when it came to his practice round and that came from Mother Nature.
He admittedly did not see holes 2 through 9 at the infamous track and so Chatfield called up his teammate to get a scout.
“Having Palmer there, he helped guide me around those couple of courses that we played,” Chatfield recalled. “I called him needing help with those eight holes. It wasn’t really the best move to go in blind to Oakmont, but he helped me a ton there and I played both courses well and made it to match play.”
That event saw Chatfield reach the quarterfinals before falling to Nick Gabrelcik 1 up. In that run, Chatfield overcame being three down with six to play in besting Devon Bling.
To this day, Chatfield remains in touch with Jackson and is thankful for what he did for the program.
“Right when he got to Notre Dame, he made a huge impact on the program,” Chatfield assessed. “As a prospect watching him grow right into his freshman year, we kind of all expected him to and it was only a matter of time before things started to click for Notre Dame golf. He was kind of the missing piece to the puzzle. I was very fortunate to play three years of golf with him and he’s just a great kid, someone I’ll keep in touch with forever. He’s doing great things now and I can’t wait until he’s out here.”
Given the Oakmont is a hard course to score on, perhaps it is not much surprise that Chatfield broke through Saturday. After all, he has wanted to play a course such as how the Scarlet has been laid out, where a round such as the one he posted would gain ground.
Chatfield’s home course is Wannamoisett Country Club, located in Rumford, Rhode Island, which is a par 69 — featuring one par 5 in addition to firm and fast greens.
Perhaps this also is why a course where missing the fairway results in having to scramble has suited his eye. Chatfield hit 11 of 14 fairways in his round and 14 of 18 greens.
It also could be because Chatfield has had a mindset where he has locked up his Korn Ferry Tour card and though he is not currently projected to be one of the 30 who would earn his PGA Tour card, he feel that there is nothing to lose.
The only thing that may not have gone his way on the day was from those in attendance. Given that Notre Dame is hosting Ohio State in a Saturday night football game, Chatfield has been peppered with two letters.
The response has consistently been one of two things, either a shake of the head or an “oh no”.