Golf: Dockendorf takes second at Poppy Ridge

Gilroy’s David Dockendorf, center, poses for a picture with the Chardonnay Flight champ Richard Rutledge, left and third place finisher Jeff Blanchard.

GILROY—The annual Northern California Golf Association was the first large tournament David Dockendorf had ever played in, but he sure didn’t play like a rookie.
The Gilroy golfer finished as the runner-up in the Chardonnay Flight (handicap index 9.0-below) Oct. 13 at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. Dockendorf finished with a 71, one-under the par 72 course and a stroke behind the first place finisher, Richard Rutledge of Tuscan Ridge Golf Club in Paradise.
“I didn’t expect to be that close,” Dockendorf said. “It was kind of bittersweet. I was happy to be in second, but to miss it just by one was a little bit of a letdown. All in all I was still really happy with where I finished.”
Dockendorf was in the hunt after Day 1 but said he didn’t feel he played as strong the second day. He hit an eagle on his first hole of Day 2 and notched six birdies against two bogeys and a double-bogey.
The tournament was a brand new experience for Dockendorf. The Gilroy Golf Course representative has played in countless informal, Sunday morning tournaments, but nothing the likes of what he experienced at Poppy Ridge.
“It was interesting to get your name announced on the tee box and be around other people who are taking the game much more seriously than I usually take it,” he said. “It was fun to be competitive and play a couple good rounds of golf.”
Dockendorf was pleasantly surprised by how easily he handled Poppy Ridge, too. The course, he said, is known to test golfers as they battle its wide-open terrain. But NCGA golfers lucked out as the wind wasn’t a factor on the days the tournament was held.
Dockendorf began playing golf when he was around 7 or 8 years old when he’d play a few holes with his father at Gavilan Golf Course. He has continued golfing because it allows him to be outdoors and he can play with anyone regardless of their skill level, he said.
With a such a memorable first NCGA tournament under his belt, Dockendorf said he hopes to find time to play in others in the future. Until then, he’ll continue honing his craft.
“Golf can be such a fickle game,” Dockendorf said. “You can be great and absolutely forget how to play the next week.”